Balkans in Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District: Helen Delich Bentley and the War in Bosnia

Hamza Karčić ; Faculty of Political Science, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Fulltext: pdf (276 KB), English, Pages 99 – 113

The aim of this paper is to analyze the foreign policy activism of a Republican
congresswoman of Serbian descent Helen Delich Bentley during the war in Bosnia
from 1992 to 1995. The paper will argue that Bentley was a congressional
foreign policy entrepreneur utilizing nonlegislative avenues of foreign policy
influence. Her policy aims from 1992 until the end of her term in Congress in
1994 were to establish U.S. neutrality and nonintervention in Bosnia. Though
unsuccessful on both fronts, Bentley’s foreign policy activism sheds light on the
domestic policy debates over the formulation of U.S. policy towards Bosnia.
The paper contributes to the literature on interventions in the Balkans and also
to literature on congressional foreign policy entrepreneurship.

Helen Delich Bentley; Bosnia War; U.S. Congress; Balkans; Yugoslavia