Dayton Implementation to European Integration
Any systemic look at education in BiH must start with an explanation and analysis of the structure and implementation of the DPA and the eventual transition toward European integration. This evolving political landscape framed the development of education during the 1995-2015 period. The chief challenge facing BiH in the post-war era is that the structure of the DPA has prevented BiH from creating a modern functioning democracy and has slowed progress toward European integration.
The DPA ended the 1992-95 Bosnian War for Independence and established the country’s current governmental structure. The country was exhausted by war and needed peace, ‘I think the country needed immediately peace because it was almost [the] fourth year of the war and people were exhausted from ‘a lack of food and electricity and water and everything, especially in Sarajevo’ (Zoric). Therefore, the new country was created under great pressure to end the war, and the organizational structure was the result of great compromise, resulting in a ‘Balkanized’ governmental structure (Duilovic, 2004). In 2005, the highest international civilian authority in Bosnia, Lord Paddy Ashdown, called DPA ‘a superb agreement to end a war, but a very bad agreement to make a state’ (‘Farewell, Sarajevo’, 2005).
The DPA document was originally written in English, and ‘Dayton was very much rushed through. No one really read the whole document carefully before signing it’ (Smith). The primary defect of the DPA was that,
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017 51
B. Lanahan, Post-Conflict Education for Democracy and Reform,
Palgrave Studies in Global Citizenship Education and Democracy,
in effect, they functioned like an armistice, leaving BiH a ‘frozen conflict’ (Perry & Keil, 2012), where the issues that caused the conflict were not addressed and—save for a few exceptions—the territories went to the occupying force (Brunwasser, 2011; Magas, 1998; Zakaria, 2003). The DPA’s vague language around education and other cultural policies created room for interpretation and discrimination: ‘You have the interpretation, “I am Serb and I have a right by the law, by the constitution for my child to go to the school and learn in their language”, but it does not have to be that way’ (Berovic).