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The introduction of consociational power sharing as a post-war political system has become one of the international community's preferred post-conflict devices. In situations where warring polities are internally divided by ethnic, religious, linguistic, or national identity, consociationalism guarantees the inclusion of all groups in the political process and prevents a ‘tyranny' of the majority over one or more minorities. However, if international actors keep intervening in the political process, the advantages of consociationalism are turned upside down.In this exceptional book, Adis Merdzanovic develops a theoretical and empirical approach to understanding consociational democracies that include external intervention. Using the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the consociational Dayton Peace Agreement ended the three-year war between Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks twenty years ago, it elaborates on the different approaches used in the past and gives practical recommendations for future state-building exercises by the international community.

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