‘No Exit’? International Organizations, Human Rights and the Politics of Withdrawal in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Joanne McEvoy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Just as Sartre’s three strangers felt doomed to an inescapable destiny in each other’s company, so too might international organizations (IOs) fear they are unable to extricate themselves from peace-building efforts in war-torn states. For several years, the plethora of IOs with responsibility for democratization and institution building in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) has been preparing to disengage. Often described as an ‘international protectorate’ or a ‘trusteeship’, the international presence is due to hand over to a reinforced European Union Special Representative (EUSR) the difficult task of preparing the country for eventual EU membership. While some of the IOs working in Bosnia had distinct mandates in the implementation of the DPA, there has also been considerable overlap in responsibilities in the field of democratization, including human rights protection. The OSCE, the Council of Europe, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the EU and the Office of the High Representative have all had some involvement in promoting human rights protection or monitoring human rights violations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCooperation or Conflict?
Subtitle of host publicationProblematizing Organizational Overlap in Europe
EditorsDavid J. Galbreath, Carmen Gebhard
PublisherAshgate Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781315574219, 9781317159704
ISBN (Print)9780754698173, 9780754679196
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

McEvoy, J. (2013). ‘No Exit’? International Organizations, Human Rights and the Politics of Withdrawal in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In D. J. Galbreath, & C. Gebhard (Eds.), Cooperation or Conflict?: Problematizing Organizational Overlap in Europe (pp. 121-138). [7] Ashgate Publishing Ltd.. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781317159704/chapters/10.4324%2F9781315574219-11