State-building and organized crime: implementing the international law enforcement agenda in Bosnia

Research paper by Ursula C Schroeder, Cornelius Friesendorf

Indexed on: 11 Jun '09Published on: 11 Jun '09Published in: Journal of International Relations and Development


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.