Bosnia and Herzegovina: An Archetypical Example of an Ethnocracy

John Hulsey, Dejan Stjepanović

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents an analysis of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1996 to 2014. The analysis shows that the way in which Bosnia and Herzegovina’s party system can be best described is as an ‘ethnocracy’, whereby representation and contestation is channeled through parties defined by ethnic divisions. Ethnic divisions in Bosnia are reflected across the whole party system which results in high levels of congruence across all type of elections for the same group of voters but very low levels of congruence across regions. Hence, Bosnia’s party system is poorly nationalized. The major parties play a key role at all levels of government but the particular combination of parties depends on the ethnic composition of each constituency.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationRegional and National Elections in Eastern Europe
Subtitle of host publicationTerritoriality of the Vote in Ten Countries
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-51787-6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2017


  • Europe
  • Arena

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