Doctoral Dissertation Research in Political Science: Institutions and Inter-ethnic Relations in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Project: Research project

Project Details


This dissertation uncovers the effects of differing political institutions on individual-level propensities for trust and cooperation in ethnically-divided societies. Whereas much scholarly attention has been devoted to understanding the institutional conditions that lead to violence in ethnically-divided societies, very little is known about what institutions can do to improve ethnic-relations once violence is a foregone conclusion. Bosnia-Herzegovina represents an ideal case for evaluating theories of ethnic conflict and cooperation and this project employs a novel method of empirical analysis for achieving this purpose.

This dissertation research provides an opportunity to link general theories of ethnic relations across the dividing line of pre- and post-conflict. Empirical findings from this study will help resolve many unanswered questions on the effectiveness of international peacekeeping interventions and avenues for restructuring multi-ethnic states to prevent the occurrence and reoccurrence of violent ethnic conflict in many parts of the world. As such, the theoretical, methodological-empirical, and policy bases of this research can be applied to post-conflict environments beyond the Bosnian case and mark the beginnings of a research program that is truly global in perspective. The use of combined survey and experimental methods has not been attempted before in any post-conflict environment, and therefore, the research design and the empirical data generated from it will serve as first steps in what is currently an uncharted area of research.

Effective start/end date9/1/038/31/04


  • National Science Foundation: $12,000.00


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