Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 6(7), pp. 622 - 631
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2018.060708
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Is It Possible to Improve Efficiency of BiH Decentralisation Model: Comparative Analysis of Decentralisation Solutions and Relevance for BiH Context

Aida Soko *
School of Economics and Business, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) has resulted in asymmetric decentralization in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in all aspects: political, administrative and fiscal. Decentralization driven by non-economic reasons is rather usual concept, and often the main reasons are political, ethnical or overall country stability. Decentralization model implemented in BiH became huge obstacle not only in reaching efficiency in provision of public services, but also to further economic development. While the purpose of DPA was to stop armed conflict, and while valuable back in time, there is no excuse to keep these solutions for more than 20 years. This paper aims to provide deep insight into experience of selected comparative countries where non-economic reasons initiated decentralization. In addition, it aims to identify patterns and features of administrative, fiscal and political arrangements that perform better in the environment similar to BiH. Analysis of the experience in developed countries identified different models in organizing ethnically divided societies and establishing different forms of cooperation between sub-national government units to increase efficiency. Transitional countries experience shows mixed results in terms of positive effects of decentralization on overall efficiency and citizens' well-being, but there is valuable experience and number of features, which may improve municipal efficiency in BiH as well. Having in mind very limited literature focused on specific BiH context as well as the need to improve efficiency at local community level, this paper takes an important first step in this direction by providing a systematic review of decentralization design in countries that had similar challenges as BiH. The focus of comparative analysis is on the administrative decentralization (territorial organization and responsibility designation), political decentralization (addressing democratic principles) and fiscal independency. Paper has identified certain mechanisms that do not require any or require minor changes in core legislation introduced by DPA. These primarily include activation of cooperation mechanisms already allowed by law as well as improving system of revenue and grant allocation. Democratization still did not reached proper level as mechanisms introduced by DPA do not address rights of minorities, and this has to be changed. Improving municipal efficiency in BiH by applying experience of developed and transitional countries therefore may range from better cooperation according to the existing laws, to substantive changes of legislation.

Comparative Analysis, Decentralization, Intergovernmental Relations, State and Local Government, Transitional Countries

Cite this paper
Aida Soko . "Is It Possible to Improve Efficiency of BiH Decentralisation Model: Comparative Analysis of Decentralisation Solutions and Relevance for BiH Context." Sociology and Anthropology 6.7 (2018) 622 - 631. doi: 10.13189/sa.2018.060708.