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Durham e-Theses
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Democratization, civil society and NGOs:: the case of Brčko district, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Jeffrey, Alexander Sam (2004) Democratization, civil society and NGOs:: the case of Brčko district, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores the impact of the process of democratization on the development of civil society organisations in Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This study aims to advance existing debates concerning democratization within contemporary political geography by reflecting on the plural and conflicting nature of civil society organisations. In the shadow of the fall of Communism across east and central Europe, analysts have focussed on the role of civil society in legitimising democratic transitions. This has led to the notion of 'civil society building' entering the 'tool kit' of intergovernmental organisations and multilateral donors, as the term has become part of a global discourse of development and democratization. Increasingly, the constitution of civil society has been questioned, as the globalisation of development discourse has coincided with a narrowing of the term to focus almost exclusively on non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This thesis critically examines these processes within Brčko District, an area of north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina that suffered brutal ethnic cleansing during the conflict of the 1990s. As a result of its strategic significance to all warring parties it did not comprise part of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Instead, it was decided to establish the area as a 'special district', with a unique commitment to multiethnic institutions such as schools, judiciary and the police. This decision led to a significant increase in international funding, coupled with the escalation of the executive and legislative powers of the internationally-led Office of the High Representative (OHR). This thesis assesses the influence of this supervision and intervention on the ability of NGOs to set the agenda and represent the concerns of the local citizenry. As such, it forms part of a wider effort to provide ethnographic perspectives on the relationship between civil society and democratization.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2004
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 10:01

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