Page 58 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2013

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April 2013
the foreign Service journal
both local ofcials and other interna-
tional actors); freedom of movement; the
return of displaced people; the process of
re-establishing democratic, multiethnic,
local government and the rule of law; and
providing a solid foundation for eco-
nomic revitalization.
As this diverse list indicates, navigat-
ing these challenges in a postwar setting
requires not just a deft diplomatic touch,
but also efective management skills, a
healthy tolerance for complexity, and the
ability to juggle multiple crises at once.
One of the more fascinating claims
Farrand makes is that professional politi-
cians such as, say, the mayor of a large
city, may possess the best combination
of personal qualities and skills to handle
the demands of post-confict civilian
administration. I am not sure if I agree; it
certainly didn’t work in the case of Hans
Koschnick, the former mayor of
Bremen who led a simi-
lar, European Union-run
administrative mission in
Still, the broader point
that Farrand makes about
the importance of identifying
individuals with the right mix of
temperament and skills for such
missions deserves consideration.
Tose who are not intimately
familiar with Bosnia may fnd the narra-
tive confusing in places, especially given
the numerous actors, events and political
issues he covers, and the lack of a clear,
chronological structure. However, careful
readers will fnd their patience rewarded
with perceptive observations about the
practice of peacebuilding.
Of particular interest are the author’s
insights concerning the importance of
developing and maintaining productive
relations with other actors in one’s area
of responsibility, and beyond. And not
just local interlocutors, whose support of
international peacebuilding goals may
be mixed, but also other international
ofcials—both civilian and military.
Indeed, a key lesson from Farrand’s
tenure, and that of his successors, is that
personality and policy-driven conficts
within the international community are
often far more debilitating than local
spoilers. Tis is especially the case with
missions located far from central ofces.
Farrand says that his purpose in writ-
ing the book was to ofer a “useful refer-
ence” for those who may be faced with
the difcult, and professionally risky,
challenge of international peacebuilding
administration in the future. Overall, he
achieves this goal, despite the sui generis
nature of both the supervisory regime
and the Br
ko District it established.
But what makes the book essential
reading for those interested in postwar
reconstruction and governance—and
what sets it apart frommost books
devoted to these topics—is its detailed
and practical advice on how to identify
and best navigate the various tensions
inherent in these eforts.
Te critical insight that
and Peacebuilding in the Balkans
in other words, is that
is done (practices) is as fundamental for
the achievement of successful outcomes
is to be done (policies).
AdamMoore is an assistant professor of
geography at the University of California,
Los Angeles. His research focuses on ethnic
confict, civil wars and postwar reconstruc-
The Practice of
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding in
the Balkans: Te Br
ko Experience
Robert William Farrand, Rowman & Lit-
tlefeld, 2011, $39.95/hardcover, $31.19/
Kindle Edition, 289 pages.
Reviewed by Adam Moore
One of the most contentious issues
during the 1995 Dayton Peace Talks was
the territory encompassing the north-
eastern Bosnian city of Br
ko (which was
controlled by the Republika Srpska) and
its surrounding areas (most of which
were controlled by the Bosniak-Croat
Federation). Failing to come to terms,
the contending sides agreed to settle the
issue through international arbitration.
In early 1997, the designated tribu-
nal issued an initial award establishing
an international supervisory regime.
Tis body was charged with recreating
multiethnic local institutions and facili-
tating the return of ethnically cleansed
former residents. Two years later it
issued another award, which directed the
supervisory regime to establish
an autonomous, multiethnic
district in the entirety of the
ko area.
Retired Ambassador Robert
‘Bill’ Farrand served as the
frst supervisor of the Br
area (later designated the
ko District) from 1997 to
Reconstruction and
Peacebuilding in the Bal-
kans: Te Br
ko Experience
—part of the
ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy
Series—is a richly detailed account of his
three years in that position.
He has organized his book the-
matically around several key issues: the
supervisor’s political authority (vis-a-vis
The critical insight
Farrand ofers is that
peacebuilding is done
is as important as what
is to be done.