The Balkans’ future: unions vs. multiethnic states

President of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik and Russian President Vladimir Putin
Moscow, Sept. 22, 2016: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) greets Milorad Dodik, president of Republika Srpska, three days before the Balkan country’s divisive referendum (source: dpa)

Nationalism is again on the rise in the Western Balkans

After a quarter-century of unsuccessful reconciliation and slow economic growth, no Pax Balcanica is in sight

Encouraging “regional unions” could be a way to salvage multiethnic states

More than two decades after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, the post-Yugoslav model of multiethnic states in the Western Balkans is under severe stress. The setup has failed to bring long-term stability or prosperity to the region. The divisive Sept. 25, 2016 national holiday referendum in Republika Srpska was only the latest in a chain of events that heighten the urgency of rethinking the political architecture of the Balkans.

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