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Hope on the Balkans: Reports 1997
Globalism and the 'New Feudalism'

Bob Deacon and Paul Stubbs
Globalism and Social Policy Programme(GASPP), University of Sheffield, UK and STAKES, Helsinki, Finland.
July 1997
Draft: please do not quote without permission


This article seeks to explore aspects of the past, present and future framework for social policy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The suggestion is that Bosnia-Herzegovina is an example of a 'new feudalist' social formation in which the ūnormalū assumptions that all citizens of a state feel some sense of responsibility for the welfare of all in need is severely challenged in the context of separatist ethnicised claims and loyalties. Hence, international actors involved in policy advice face a number of dilemmas which go beyond those in other post- socialist states in Central and Eastern Europe. Some examples in terms of pensions and basic social assistance are provided to illustrate this.

As currently constituted, Bosnia-Herzegovina does not have even the rudiments of a normal and sustainable system of government revenue collection at local, Cantonal, entity and state levels that would be the minimum necessary to support a viable social policy. In addition, massive International NGO intervention has occurred which has tended to focus on short term relief operations rather than the longer term process of building a sustainable public policy for the social protection of the population. The current period is somewhere between emergency relief and a sustainable future with a considerable amount of donor assistance going to maintaining the basic infrastructure of many government social services.

The authors discuss the impact which INGOs have had on Local NGO development and note the problems posed by the dominance of large, 'multi-mandated' INGOs. The absence of a welfare mix involving LNGOs and Governmental Centres for Social Care is also a problem. Moreover, by conflating 'building civil society' with 'NGO development', the historical basis of civil society and, most importantly, its relationship to state building, is often ignored. A number of alternative approaches to social policy agendas are explored.

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Boyd Noorda, Socia Media
Tel: 070-3654124
E-mail: Boyd Noorda

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