Elite responses to contentious politics on the subnational level: the 2014 Bosnian protests
In Southeast European and Black Sea Studies Journal
Protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014 sparked newfound interest in the region and in the potential of citizen-led movements to elicit change in transitional societies. However, much of the academic literature in response has explored this episode with a focus on the protesters, their claims, organization, outputs, and potential to create long-lasting impact. On the other hand, elite responses to citizen-led protests are underexamined and undertheorized, particularly in post-conflict societies facing complex governance arrangements with high horizontal concentration of power. This article analyses how political elites in Bosnia and Herzegovina responded to episodes of contentious politics in the country. We explore the different ways protests were undermined by subnational elites in three cases utilizing process tracing and comparative analysis. Elites with higher levels of power concentration are better equipped to address contentious politics, as they are able to manage and control collective claim making, thus suppressing the domestication of competing norms on subnational levels to varying degrees.
This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.