Power-Sharing and Minority Rights: The Case of Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia

Patrick Agyare


This paper investigates to what extent is consociational power-sharing compatible with and supportive of key principles of minority rights. For this, it analyses the Dayton Agreement for Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Ohrid Accord for North Macedonia to understand how minority rights has been shaped by the consociational arrangements in both states. Linked by a common past and interconnected socio-political dynamics, both countries are engaged in a process of stabilization and consolidation of their democratic and institutional structures in the broader context of convergence and respect for fundamental rights. In the body politic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia, consociation in practice means integrating the interests and concerns of various groups in policy formulation and decision-making. The purpose is to minimize the prospects of conflicts and facilitate social, political, and economic improvement in an atmosphere of peace for all citizens. It was a question of reaching a balance between the divergent positions and existential fears to guarantee both immediate and progressive stability, from peacebuilding to peace-enforcing. In addition, the consociational modalities provided the most obvious and acceptable framework for mediating mistrust and enmity between the diverse groups amid structural weaknesses. Hence, examining minority rights in both states is essential regarding the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights. This position gains more eminence due to human dignity, diversity, and a sense of pride in one’s own culture and identity. Nevertheless, this paper uncovers that the protection of minority rights in the power-sharing systems is without problems as minorities encounter challenges in projecting their interests.


Bosnia-Herzegovina; Consociation; Minority Rights; North Macedonia; Power-Sharing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18415/ijmmu.v8i11.3049


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