AbstractsPolitical Science


The dissolution of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in January 1990 left the multi-ethnic republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a difficult position. This thesis is presenting the political situation that emerged in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the League of Communists of Yugoslavia dissolved to the end of the first democratic election held in November 1990. The focus is put on various actors’ vision: what sort of Bosnia and Herzegovina they wanted and what was possible to arrange. Many feared that importation of nationalism from Serbia and Croatia could lead to disastrous consequences and that this republic might even be carved up. On the other hand there were those who believed that Bosnians-Herzegovinian’s would reject the nationalist doctrine and continue fostering the notion of “brotherhood and unity”. Democratic elections already held in Slovenia and Croatia in the spring months provided regime change with nationalist colouring. In Serbia the nationalist doctrine had replaced the communist one in the mid-1980s. All of this had enormous impact on the Bosnian-Herzegovinian society. When it was clear that mono-ethnic parties could register and participate in the election, the fear that Bosnia and Herzegovina would follow the path already seen in neighbouring republics became even greater. The outcome of the election result brought a new political elite in power: one that was of anti-communist approach. The three largest mono-ethnic parties -the Party of Democratic Action, Serb Democratic Party and Croatian Democratic Union- formed a coalition. They assured the Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizenry that they could work together and thus excluded the possibility of a civil war. However, although they managed to divide the power between themselves after the election their coalition was short-lived since they differed in their view of what status Bosnia and Herzegovina should have in the Yugoslav context, as later events showed.