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Reconstruction and Peace Building in the Balkans

The Brcko Experience

by: Robert William Farrand
published by
: Rowman & Littlefield
pp: 310
ISBN: 978-1-4422-1235-0
price: £ 27.95

Book's frontpage

In the tense aftermath of the 1992–1995 Bosnian War, U.S. diplomat Bill Farrand was assigned the daunting task of implementing the Dayton Peace Accords in the ethnically divided Balkan territory of Brcko in Bosnia andHerzegovina. Serb, Muslim, and Croat political leaders alike had blocked agreement over Brcko’s political status, thus threatening first to derail U.S.-brokered peace talks and then to prevent peace from taking hold in the postconflict period.This compelling narrative pulls the reader intimately into the author’s world where, over three tumultuous years, he was given wide authority to restore travel across former ceasefire lines, return thousands to their destroyed and confiscated homes, conduct free and fair elections, and reestablish multiethnic government bodies—all in a climate of fear and obstruction. “If we can get it right in Brcko,” the U.S. State Department told him, “we have a chance of making the Dayton peace process work throughout Bosnia.” Indeed, the new Brcko District is a Balkan success story.

Farrand highlights the complex challenges peace builders confront, especially the role of civilian leadership in a postconflict zone torn apart by ethnic cleansing. Analytic and prescriptive, the book explains in vivid detail the ground breaking roles of arbitration and of civilian peace workers living among the people. His story is rich in lessons for all those studying or engaged inpeace building abroad.

 

About the author

Robert William Farrand is distinguished senior fellow and affiliate professor at George Mason University in the School of Public Policy’s Peace Operations Policy Program. A career Foreign Service officer, he was ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu between 1990 and 1993, then served as Deputy High Representative, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1997 to 2000.

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