New Publication by Sarajevo Open Centre: Political Participation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This publication is the result of Sarajevo Open Centre and lecturers who participated in the first Academy of political leadership, held from 29th June to 5th July 2012 in Sarajevo, organized by the Sarajevo Open Centre and with a support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Academy has brought together young people from different political parties and non-governmental organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The goal of the Academy of political leadership was to strengthen the capacity of young people who want to actively participate in policy and decision making processes.

Given that young politicians are not sufficiently represented in political structures and have no decision-making ability, education about the political system and the different segments of society that impact on the political process is essential to create the conditions for their participation. An important component of this Academy is to strengthen women’s participation in politics, so some of the modules of the Academy were dedicated to the role of women in political parties and their positioning within the party bodies. Academy participants had the opportunity to meet some of the politicians in the executive and legislative authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lecturers were from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, and they all had years of experience in the academic, political, and social work. Academy of political leadership, in a period of seven days, covered the topics on the political system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, human rights, constitutional reform, public finance, local government, elections, education, media, the Euro-Atlantic Integration and the issues of leadership skills.

This is the second publication of Sarajevo Open Centre which comes under edition BH Politika. Texts contained in this publication are from the lecturers of the Academy of political leadership. This publication has been divided into three sections: System, Law and Policy. The first chapter entitled System contains a texts from: Zarije Seizović: Ethno-mobilization and institutional discrimination in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A brief historical and legal-political science discourse; Valery Perry: The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Chances, challenges and opportunities; Miroslav Živanović: Local government in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Svetlana Cenić: State, Finance, Budget and Vanja Matić: NATO and the implementation of Resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council on women, peace and security. The second chapter titled Rights contains texts from: Saša Madacki: Introduction to Human Rights; Besima Borić: Social Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Adnan Kadribašić: National Mechanisms for Gender Equality in Bosnia and Nenad Veličković: Nationalism in Bosniak, Croatian and Serbian textbooks. The third chapter titled Politics contains texts from: Tomislav Damnjanović: Campaign for beginners and Julia Mikić: Leader skills for youth activists in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Sarajevo Open Centre wants to leverage its programs to increase the participation of citizens in making political choices, through education and information about political processes, institutions and actors. We believe that the strengthening of a democratic society it is necessary to strengthen awareness about political trends, monitoring of state institutions, and influencing the increase of their responsibilities. Increasing the capacity and knowledge of members of the parties and non-governmental organizations significantly affect a responsible policy that will contribute to building a society of equal opportunities.