David Madden (SEESOX Associate and Senior Member of St Antony's College)
The Bonn Powers (1997) made Bosnia-Herzegovina a “semi-protectorate”. There was a mixed record: progress in terms of legislation and state structures, but a dependency syndrome. The Agency Model made local use of vetoes and hence imposition more likely; the Arbiter model was more likely to produce local compromise. This proposition was examined using a variety of hypothetical and actual models. The Citizenship Law was an example of Agency, the implementation of the 2002 court decision on “constituent peoples” an example of Arbiter. Overall, the conclusion was that international intervention should focus on enforcing local compromises rather than imposing solutions.
In response to questions from Richard Caplan, the speaker agreed that the model and statistics did not necessarily or fully reflect the importance of the issues being handled due to a lack of respective data; confirmed that the findings were based on interviews with former High Representatives and local politicians; commented that of course politicians based their calculations on “game theory” and the likelihood of others either using or not using veto powers (“strategic positioning”); and accepted that that there was no absolute distinction between Agency and Arbiter because positions of all parties could change in the course of a negotiation.