Hope on the Balkans: Reports 1997
Bob Deacon and Paul Stubbs
SOCIAL POLICY AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Globalism and the 'New Feudalism'
Globalism and Social Policy Programme(GASPP), University of
Sheffield, UK and STAKES, Helsinki, Finland.
Draft: please do not quote without permission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
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
E-mail: Boyd Noorda