Bosnia offers potential as positive example of decentralization

November 17, 2009  |  ARTICLES

 In an editorial published in The Ambassador's Review, Dr. Thomas Melady examines the potential of decentralized rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Ambassador Melady notes the successful record of several nations which have decentralized their domestic affairs along cultural lines, notably Switzerland and the United States. His essay stresses reasons to be optimistic about the prospects of a Bosnia that remains free of violence as its Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim populations achieve greater cultural liberty.

The threat of future violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, is all too real, demonstrated by the gruesome realities of the war of 1992-1995. As well, Ambassador Melady notes the serious warnings presented by states characterized by significant ethnic or cultural diversity (such as Burundi, Rwanda, and the Federated Malay States) that failed to permit sufficient pluralism to their diverse ethnic groups.

Ambassador Melady is well-placed to comment on complex issues of decentralized authority in the developing world. His experience includes serving as U.S. Ambassador to Burundi (1969-1972), Uganda (1972-1973), and the Vatican (1989-1993).

The full text of Ambassador Melady's essay may be read in the Fall 2009 edition of The Ambassador's Review, or on IWP's website by downloading the file below.
Download file Melady_Bosnia_2009