2013 Session 2: From Bosnia to Syria – are Multi-ethnic States Viable?

Sofia Platform 2013

31 October – 1 November Sofia (Bulgaria)

What are the scenarios for the MENA states where multi-ethnic societies live? Should some of the policies applied in Bosnia in the 1990s still be followed in the MENA region today? The Dayton Peace Agreement on Bosnia succeeded to stop the war and the ethnic cleansing but it did not equip the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina with robust state institution, and moreover it did not provide for a functioning political system. The three-ethnic state is still struggling to realise neither the expectations of its citizens, nor those of the international community. So what is the viable solution for building a stable state? What are the pros and cons of federalisation? Are the necessary conditions for a similar strategy in place in MENA?

Joseph Bahout, Professor and researcher at Sciences Po-Paris (Lebanon)

Esref Kenan Rasidagic, Assistant Professor, University of Sarajevo (BiH)

Valeri Ratchev, Centre for Security and Defence Management, BAS (Bulgaria)

Bassam Al-Kuwatli, Former member of the Syrian National Council (Syria)

Issraa Murabit, Vice President of The Voice of Libyan Women (Libya)


Moderator: Ognyan Minchev, Executive Director, Institute for Regional and International Studies (Bulgaria)