Nation building in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Cooperation, coordination and collaboration

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Cross-sectoral interorganizational relationships in post-conflict situations occur regularly. Whether formal task forces, advisory groups or other ad hoc arrangements, these relations take place in chaotic and dangerous situations with urgent and turbulent political, economic and social environments. Furthermore, they typically involve a large number of players from many different nations, operating across sectors, and between multiple layers of bureaucracy and diplomacy. The organizational complexity staggers many participants and observers, as do the tasks they are charged with completing.

Reform efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina starting in 1995 may serve as the archetype model of conflict, transition and development for the 21st century. It wins this honor due not to its particular programmatic successes and failures, rather to the interorganizational complexity of the International Community. From the massive response to the crisis, to the modern nation-building policies it spawned, and the development assistance practices and institutional arrangements it created, the Bosnian development experience has much to offer by way of lessons learned.

This manuscript frames the unique Bosnian development situation, and provides lessons learned from the experience of nation building given local realities. Pettigrew (1992) called this "contextualizing." While network and/or organizational structure, strategy and process explain many interorganizational relationship issues, the development variables identified in this manuscript prove equally important, yet elusive and difficult to measure despite their very real and overt presence.


South East European Journal of Economics and Business





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