Vision and Reality: Democracy and Citizenship of Women in the Dayton Peace Accords

Authored by: Christine Chinkin and Kate Paradine

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Peace Accords, Political Transitions
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2001
Citation: Chinkin, Christine and Kate Paradine. "Vision and Reality: Democracy and Citizenship of Women in the Dayton Peace Accords." Yale Journal of International Law 26, no. 103 (2001): 103-178.

Access the Resource:


This Article examines the gendered meanings of the concepts of democracy, citizenship, and human rights in the context of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (GFA), negotiated in Dayton, Ohio, in 1995.1 The Article is predicated upon the idea that a feminist theory and politics of citizenship and democracy "must embrace an internationalist agenda" 2 and that in turn, for effectiveness and legitimacy, the internationalist agenda must embrace feminist thinking. This Article further argues that the GFA provided an opportunity for the renegotiation of a contested space where democratic concepts of access and participation and citizenship issues of entitlement could be reimagined rather than merely being restated in their familiar, gendered guises. Negotiation of the GFA presented the West with an opportunity to look critically at the position of women within its own societies and to reconfigure societal structures to enhance women's empowerment within post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. This reconfiguration would also have benefited women elsewhere, including those within Western states and institutions.