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Capsule Review

Diplomatic Counterinsurgency: Lessons From Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Diplomatic Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Diplomatic Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina
By Philippe Leroux-Martin
Cambridge University Press, 2013 336 pp. $99.00 Purchase

In 2007, Leroux-Martin was a young lawyer working for the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the international administration created by the 1995 Dayton peace agreement. Reattaching the splintered parts of a war-torn country has never been easy, but when the high representative pushed for institutional changes that would have led to police reform, the move was resisted by Serbian-dominated Republika Srpska, a critical region in the country, and things went terribly wrong. The dispute essentially reignited the Bosnian war, although without guns or bloodshed. In legal chambers, the press, and diplomatic talks, the Serbian faction waged a fully formed political and diplomatic insurgency against the international community’s effort to advance the Dayton agreement. In the end, the international community lost and the proposed changes were abandoned. Leroux-Martin reflects on that outcome and offers a highly original and practical exploration of the way that, for outside peace makers, the aftermath of a war can pose challenges almost as great as the war itself.

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