The View from Here

With school back in session (well, unless you count natural disasters), we’ve begun to evaluate where the project is going. The current goal is to get the paper ready for the 2011 Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies Conference in November. To do this, we are extending some of our work into the semester.

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Central Bosnia, Central Problems

With our local governance paper coming along and the daily edit, re-edit, merge, repeat cycle in full swing, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the actual structure of governance in Bosnia. The whole object of our project is to asses the impact of international aid on the local level, and it comes at a time when decentralization is still a hot topic in Bosnia. But, is the problem an even deeper, systemic one?

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Noble Sentiments in Paris

I’ve been doing a lot more thinking about the dilemmas of local ownership, particularly after delving deeper into the planning for our paper. One thing has become abundantly clear: we can drive ourselves crazy with the circular logic of the issue. Handicapping a community’s capacity to govern itself is undoubtedly a major drawback of deep, comprehensive local aid. Yet, pouring money into an opaque and corrupt system is out of the question. Yet, instead of pulling my hair out over this, I decided to have a look at steps the international community has taken to address the issue.

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Claim this State!

Local ownership is one of the most prominent themes we continually encounter in our research on the impact of international aid to municipalities in the western Balkans. This is an extremely complicated and controversial issue that cuts to the heart of how international organizations (IOs) should aim to design their good governance aid programs.

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Studying the Impact of Aid in the Western Balkans

Hi! My name is Connor Smith, and I am a rising sophomore. Thanks to the generosity of the Weingartner family, I will be working with Professor Paula Pickering of the Government Department on her research this summer. I am really excited to have this opportunity, and I think this vibrant blogging community really speaks to W&M’s unique commitment to undergraduate research.

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