Domestic and transnational criminalized activities are typical side effects of weak statehood and civil war. International actors pursue a variety of counter-crime programmes explicitly designed to strengthen the judicial, penal and law enforcement capacities of states after war. This paper traces the implementation of international counter-crime programmes in post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina and asks what effects they have had so far. Drawing on implementation research in the fields of public policy and foreign policy analysis, the paper discusses the constellation of factors that influence the implementation of the international law enforcement agenda in Bosnia. While we detect an initial gap between international counter-crime strategies and their implementation on the ground, our analysis also shows that international actors have intensified their fight against organized crime in post-conflict societies. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, counter-crime implementation efforts, unsystematic and uncoordinated at first, have improved over time.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
A previous version of this article was presented at conferences in Turin (ECPR SGIR Conference, September 2007) and Sarajevo (HUMSEC Conference, October 2007). For their comments and advice we thank Benjamin S. Buckland, Gemma Collantes Celador, Irma Deljkić, Petrus van Duyne, Denis Hadžović, Susan E. Penksa, Antje Wiener, the participants of the 2007 SGIR Young Researchers Workshop, as well as the JIRD editors and three anonymous reviewers. We also thank the officials interviewed for this project, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity. Finally, both authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation in their European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Programme.
Other relevant cases include Haiti, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.
The paper limits its scope to tracing the policy outcome of specific measures in the target state, rather than evaluating the overall impact of international assistance. Outcomes are direct effects of a policy on its targeted actors, while impact refers to the overall effects of a policy on the socio-economic environment (Easton 1965).
Vennesson (2007) provides a useful conceptual frame for understanding how worldviews and ideas of individuals can affect policy outcomes.
See for instance Arsovska and Verduyn (2008) for a discussion of perceptions of crime and violence in Albania.
Interview with international prosecutor, Sarajevo, October 2007.
The downside is that vague mandates can also hinder implementation, as was the case after Dayton when IFOR/SFOR commanders, especially from the US, regarded the lack of a legal obligation of NATO to support law enforcement as an excuse to do very little in this field.
The US provided support as well (e.g. computers).
Over the past years, the EU has invested over €17 million to support police reform in Bosnia.
We thank Susan Penksa for her comments on this point.
Interview with a former participant of an ICITAP course, Sarajevo, October 2007.
Human trafficking tends to involve more violence and deception than human smuggling, and does not require the crossing of an international border. Moreover, human trafficking violates both state laws and individual rights. It must be noted that in reality there are often no clear-cut distinctions between these two forms of crime.
Interview with Border Police official, Sarajevo, June 2008.
Interview with EUPM official, Sarajevo, November 2007.
We owe this piece of information to Irma Deljkić.
Interviews with police and NGOs in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Bosnia, 2006–2008.
Interviews, Sarajevo, August 2006 and October 2007.
Interview, Brussels, January 2007.
Interview with international and Bosnian law enforcement officers, Sarajevo, August 2006.
Interviews, Sarajevo, August-November 2007.
Interviews with law enforcement official, Sarajevo, October 2007.
This is still the case, although less so than before.
Interview, Sarajevo, October 2007.
Interviews with prosecutors and security experts, Sarajevo, August–October 2007.
Interviews with EUPM and Border Police officials, Sarajevo, fall 2007 and summer 2008.
Interviews in Sarajevo, August–November 2007.
Interviews, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, Geneva, 2007–2008.
Ahic, Jasmin (2007) ‘Reconstruction of BH Police’, in Philipp Fluri and George Katsirdakis, eds, Security Sector Reform in the New Partnership for Peace Members: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Brussels, 10–27, Geneva and Brussels: DCAF and NATO.
Anastasijevic, Dejan (2006) ‘Organized Crime in the Western Balkans’, Paper presented at the HUMSEC (Human Security) Conference, Ljubljana, November.
Andreas, Peter (2004) ‘The Clandestine Political Economy of War and Peace in Bosnia’, International Studies Quarterly 58 (1): 29–51.
Andreas, Peter (2008) Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Arsovska, Jana and Phillippe Verduyn (2008) ‘Globalization, Conduct Norms and “Culture Conflict”: Perceptions of Violence and Crime in an Ethnic Albanian Context’, British Journal of Criminology 48 (2): 226–246.
Barrett, Susan M. (2004) ‘Implementation Studies: Time for a Revival? Personal Reflections on 20 Years of Implementation Studies’, Public Administration 82 (2): 249–262.
Bellamy, Alex J., Paul Williams, and Stuart Griffin (2004) Understanding Peacekeeping, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Bose, Sumantra (2005) ‘The Bosnian State a Decade after Dayton’, International Peacekeeping 12 (3): 322–335.
Brighi, Elisabetta, and Christopher Hill (2007) ‘Implementation Approaches’, in Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield and Tim Dunne, eds, Foreign Policy Theories, Actors, Cases, 117–136, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Center for the Study of Democracy (2006) On the Eve of EU Accession: Anti-Corruption Reforms in Bulgaria, Sofia: CSD.
Chandler, David (2002) ‘Anti-Corruption Strategies and Democratization in Bosnia-Herzegovina’, Democratization 9 (2): 101–120.
Chandler, David (2005) ‘From Dayton to Europe’, International Peacekeeping 12 (3): 336–349.
Cockayne, James, and Daniel Pfister (2008) Peace Operations and Organised Crime. GCSP Geneva Papers 2, Geneva: Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
de Coning, Cedric (2004) ‘Coherence and Integration in the Planning, Implementation and Evaluation of Complex Peace-Building Operations’, Conflict Trends (1): 41–48.
Deljkić, Irma (2007) Suprotstavljanje Zloupotrebi Opojnih Droga: Bosna I Hercegovina I Evropska Unija, Sarajevo: Fakultet Kriminalističkih Nauka.
DiMaggio, Paul J. and Walter W. Powell (1983) ‘The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Field’, American Sociological Review 48 (2): 147–160.
Divjak, Boris and Michael Pugh (2008) ‘The Political Economy of Corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, International Peacekeeping 15 (3): 373–386.
Donais, Timothy (2003) ‘The Political Economy of Stalemate: Organised Crime, Corruption and Economic Deformation in Post-Dayton Bosnia’, Conflict, Security and Development 3 (3): 359–382.
Easton, David (1965) A Systems Analysis of Political Life, Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Elmore, Richard F. (1979) ‘Backward Mapping: Implementation Research and Policy Decisions’, Political Science Quarterly 94 (4): 601–616.
European Commission (2006) ‘Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244) 2006 Progress Report’, SEC (2006) 1386, Brussels: 08.11.2006.
European Commission and Council of Europe (2007) ‘CARPO Regional Project: Update of the 2006 Situation Report on Organized and Economic Crime in South-Eastern Europe’, Strasbourg, June.
Fligstein, Neil (2001) ‘Social Skill and the Theory of Fields’, Sociological Theory 19 (2): 105–125.
Friesendorf, Cornelius and Susan E. Penksa (2008) ‘Militarized Law Enforcement in Peace Operations: EUFOR in Bosnia & Herzegovina’, International Peacekeeping 15 (5): 677–694.
Howard, Peter (2004) ‘The Growing Role of States in U.S. Foreign Policy: The Case of the State Partnership Program’, International Studies Perspectives 5 (2): 179–196.
Hozic, Aida A. (2007) ‘Crime and Sovereignty in the Balkans’, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Chicago, IL, March.
Institut für Europäische Politik (2007) ‘Operationalisierung von Security Sector Reform (SSR) auf dem Westlichen Balkan (Operationalizing SSR in the Western Balkans)’, Report for the German Bundeswehr, Berlin, 9 January.
International Crisis Group (2000) ‘War Criminals in Bosnia's Republika Srpska: Who Are the People in Your Neighbourhood’, Sarajevo/Washington/Brussels: ICG Balkans Report No. 103.
Kampschror, Beth (2001) ‘Paying for Porous Borders’, TransitionsOnline 23 November, available at http://www.tol.cz/look/TOLrus/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=9&NrIssue=1&NrSection=4&NrArticle=2751, (20 October, 2008).
Knaus, Gerald and Felix Martin (2003) ‘Travails of the European Raj’, Journal of Democracy 14 (3): 60–74.
Knaus, Gerald and Kristof Bender (2007) ‘The Worst in Class: How the International Protectorate Hurts the European Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Journal of Intervention and State Building 1 (Special Supplement): 1 December, 24–34.
Limanowska, Barbara (2002) Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe, Sarajevo: UNICEF, UNOHCHR, OSCE.
Limanowska, Barbara (2005) Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe, Sarajevo: UNICEF, UNOHCHR, OSCE.
Lipsky, Michael (1980) Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Mahoney, James (2000) ‘Path Dependence in Historical Sociology’, Theory and Society 29 (4): 507–548.
Matland, Richard E. (1995) ‘Synthesizing the Implementation Literature: The Ambiguity-Conflict Model of Policy Implementation’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 5 (2): 145–174.
Merlingen, Michael and Rasa Ostrauskaite (2005) ‘Power/Knowledge in International Peacebuilding: The Case of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia’, Alternatives 30 (3): 297–323.
Montanaro-Jankovski, Lucia (2005) ‘Good Cops, Bad Mobs? EU Policies to Fight Transnational Organized Crime in the Western Balkans’, EPC Issue Paper No. 40, Brussels: European Policy Center.
O’Toole Jr., Laurence J. (2000) ‘Research on Policy Implementation: Assessment and Prospects’, Journal of Public Administration Research 10 (2): 263–288.
Parish, Matthew T. (2007) ‘The Demise of the Dayton Protectorate’, Journal of Intervention and State Building 1 (Special Supplement): 1 December, 11–23.
Penksa, Susan E. (2006) ‘Policing Bosnia and Herzegovina (2003–2005) Issues of Mandates and Management in ESDP Missions’, CEPS Working Document No. 255, Brussels: CEPS.
Perito, Robert (2004) ‘Where is the Lone Ranger When We Need Him? America's Role for a Postconflict Stability Force’, Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.
Pierson, Paul (2000) ‘Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics’, American Political Science Review 94 (2): 251–267.
Pugh, Michael (2005) ‘Transformation in the Political Economy of Bosnia Since Dayton’, International Peacekeeping 12 (3): 448–462.
Pülzl, Helga, and Oliver Treib (2006) ‘Implementing Public Policy’, in Frank Fischer, Gerald J. Miller and Mara S. Sidney, eds, Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods, 89–108, Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Rosga, AnnJanette (2005) ‘The Traffic in Children: The Funding of Translation and the Translation of Funding’, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 28 (2): 258–281.
Sabatier, Paul A. (1986) ‘Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches to Implementation Research’, Journal of Public Policy 6 (1): 21–48.
Savjet Ministara BiH (2006) Strategija Bosne i Hercegovine za Borbu protiv Organizovanog Kriminala i Korupcije (2006–2009), Sarajevo: Savjet Ministara BiH.
Scharpf, Fritz W. (1994) ‘Games Real Actors Could Play. Positive and Negative Coordination in Embedded Negotiations’, Journal of Theoretical Politics 6 (1): 27–53.
Scheye, Eric (2008) ‘UNMIK and the Significance of Effective Programme Management: The Case of Kosovo’, in Heiner Hänggi and Vincenza Scherrer, eds, Security Sector Reform and UN Integrated Missions, 169–219, Geneva: DCAF/Lit.
Schroeder, Ursula C. (2007) ‘Between Conflict and Cooperation: International Police Reform Efforts in South Eastern Europe’, in David Law, ed., Intergovernmental Organisations and Security Sector Reform, 197–217, Geneva: DCAF/Lit.
Sharp, Jane M.O. (1997/1998) ‘Dayton Report Card’, International Security 22 (3): 101–137.
Smith, Steve, and Michael Clarke (1985) Foreign Policy Implementation, London: G. Allen & Unwin.
Smith, Steve, and Michael Clarke (1989) ‘Implementation Approaches’, in Michael Clarke and Brian White, eds, Understanding Foreign Policy: The Foreign Policy Systems Approach, 163–184, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Solana, Javier (2003) A Secure Europe in a Better World — European Security Strategy, Brussels: Council of the European Union.
Stanchev, Krassen (2005) ‘Economic Perspectives on Organized Crime’, in Ekavi Athanassopoulou, ed., Fighting Organized Crime in Southeast Europe, 25–33, London and New York: Routledge.
State Coordinator (2006) ‘BiH State Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration in BiH, Report on Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Sarajevo.
Strazzari, Francesco (2008) ‘L’Oeuvre au noir: The Shadow Economy of Kosovo's Independence’, International Peacekeeping 15 (2): 155–170.
Todorova, Maria (1997) Imagining the Balkans, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
United Nations Development Programme (2007) The Silent Majority Speaks: Snapshots of Today and Visions of the Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Selection of Graphs, Sarajevo: United Nations Development Programme.
United States General Accounting Office (2000) Bosnia Peace Operations: Crime and Corruption Threaten Successful Implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, Washington DC: GAO.
UNODC (2008) Crime and its Impact on the Balkans and Affected Countries, Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
U.S. Department of State (annual) ‘Trafficking in Persons Report’, Washington DC, available at http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/.
Van Dijk, Jan (2007) ‘Mafia Markers: Assessing Organized Crime and its Impact Upon Societies’, Trends in Organized Crime 10 (4): 39–56.
Van Duyne, Petrus C., Matjaz Jager, Klaus von Lampe and James L. Newell, eds, (2004) Threats and Phantoms of Organised Crime, Corruption and Terrorism: Critical European Perspectives, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers.
Vandenberg, Martina E. (2007) ‘Peacekeeping and Rule Breaking: United Nations Anti-Trafficking Policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, in H. Richard Friman and Simon Reich, eds, Human Trafficking, Human Security, and the Balkans, 81–95, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Vennesson, Pascal (2007) ‘European Worldviews: Ideas and the European Union in World Politics’, San Domenico di Fiesole: EUI Working Papers RSCAS 2007/07.
Woodward, Susan L. (2005) ‘Enhancing Cooperation Against Transborder Crime in Southeast Europe: Is there an Emerging Epistemic Community?’ in Ekavi Athanassopoulou, ed., Fighting Organized Crime in Southeast Europe, 7–24, London and New York: Routledge.
About this article
Cite this article
Schroeder, U., Friesendorf, C. State-building and organized crime: implementing the international law enforcement agenda in Bosnia. J Int Relat Dev 12, 137–167 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1057/jird.2009.1
- organized crime
- policy implementation
- security sector reform
- Western Balkans