This chapter provides a brief overview of the conflict in Bosnia and the European Union’s role since the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation in 1991 to date. It then introduces the historical institutionalist framework that will guide the analysis of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in Bosnia, looking in particular at the role of learning, path dependency and unintended consequences. In this chapter it is argued that a focus on institutions and political conflict can help us better understand the development of EU foreign and security policy in the past two decades and, in particular, the vexed issues of coherence and effectiveness. This chapter also provides a brief outline of the content of the book.
Keywords: Bosnia, Bosnian war, Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), foreign policy, historical institutionalism, learning, path dependency, unintended consequences, political conflict, coherence, effectiveness
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