Date of Submission
Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D.
Robert A. Sanders, LP.D., J.D., LLM
European Union Integration, BiH, Ethno-based Political System
Bosnia and Herzegovina--Politics and government, Political stability, European Union
This empirical study investigates whether European Union (EU) integration will enable Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to politically stabilize and fully integrate into the EU by 2030. In the first part, data from a panel of 17 Central and Eastern European countries from 2000-2019 is statistically analyzed to determine whether EU integration and its components are significant determinants of political stability, in order to interpret BiH’s data in the context of those relationships. This analysis provides support to the EU theory that states can increase their political stability by implementing reforms throughout the integration process. GDP per capita, ethnic fractionalization, unemployment, and education were significant determinants of political stability in the region. In the second part, historical trends and current estimates of the variables in BiH are analyzed to inform BiH’s performance in variables that have a significant relationship with political stability. It also analyzes trends in BiH’s overall political stability and progress in EU integration. The findings from the analysis on data from BiH display that BiH has performed poorly in variables relevant to political stability, including the EU integration process, and is severely lagging behind other states in the region. BiH’s poor performance in these variables is largely caused by BiH’s government inefficiency that has resulted from its ethno-based political system. This study’s results overall inform the conclusion that BiH is unlikely to politically stabilize and fully integrate into the EU by 2030 and support the recommendation by scholars that changes to EU policy on BiH are necessary.
Clavette, Rachel, "European Union Integration: A Stabilizing Force for Bosnia-Herzegovina?" (2021). Honors Theses. 9.