Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Discrimination and the Non-Vote

The context of the elections held on 7. October 2018 can only be fully understood by adding the complexity of a power-sharing governmental arrangement in contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina that favours large coalitions of ethnically based political parties. While the system was envisaged originally to prevent the domination of one ethnic group over others, its practical application has been used by nationalist political elites to install themselves as overall rulers in their particular territories, which individuals and clans have been ruling as fiefdoms for over twenty years. The lack of capacity for political alternatives and their own fragmentation into a series of smaller political parties has created an overall atmosphere of disillusionment among voters who do not seem to hope for any possibility of positive change. Hence the low voter turnout of just over 53 percent.

Neven Andjelić

Neven Andjelić

Neven Andjelić is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Human Rights at Regent’s University London. He is also an expert member of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Neven is Visiting Professor at the University of Bologna. Originally from Sarajevo, he was a journalist in pre-war Sarajevo where he was a leader in the anti-war movement. After the first year of war he left Sarajevo and settled in London. He worked for CNN for 15 years and was also working at several British universities. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley in 2006/2007. He received his DPhil from the University of Sussex. Neven’s main publication is Bosnia-Herzegovina: The End of a Legacy (London: Frank Cass, 2003).


Southeastern Europe