Changing the rules of the game: comparing FIFA/UEFA and EU attempts to promote reform of power-sharing institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Laurence Cooley, Jasmin Mujanović

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This article compares two international attempts to promote reform of power-sharing institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina: failed European Union-led efforts to promote reform of the country's constitution, which was established by the 1995 Dayton Agreement; and the recent successful reform of Bosnia-Herzegovina's institutions of football governance, promoted by the game's international and European governing bodies, FIFA and UEFA. The article outlines the history of these two reform processes and seeks to explain why FIFA and UEFA have been more successful in promoting reform in this post-conflict setting than the EU. It argues that, in contrast to the EU, which has been vague about the precise reforms expected of Bosnia-Herzegovina's politicians, leaving the details to be negotiated by domestic political elites, FIFA and UEFA were more precise in their demands and were also willing to capitalise on popular frustration with the governance of the sport and to bypass nationalist elites who stood in the way of reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-63
JournalGlobal Society
Volume29
Issue number1
Early online date17 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • football
  • consociationalism
  • sport
  • power-sharing
  • FIFA
  • UEFA
  • constitutional reform
  • European Union

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