Drawing the Curtain on Civic Kabuki: Principles for Citizen Election Law and Constitutional Reform Deliberation Processes

DPC Policy Note


For a variety of reasons, election law reform and constitutional reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) returned to the agenda in 2021.

This policy note briefly outlines some key principles and recommendations related to the process that would increase the chances that resulting options and proposals would enable a future electoral and political infrastructure that could allow BiH’s citizens to finally play a meaningful role in transcending the morass of the past 15+ years. Avoiding compounding the damage through the essentialist entrenchment of ethno-national gerrymandering, labeling, and othering is crucial for real progress. The following issues are briefly described:

  • The need to disentangle election integrity efforts and power allocation/constitutional reform efforts – however purportedly “minor” – with the former being the immediate priority;
  • The need to initiate a genuine, interest-based, citizen-driven, bottom-up process of defining the social contract they would like to see.

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