The authors argue that Bosnian post-war transition has taken a path of ‘deformation’, leading to intractable political conflict characterized by ethnic divisions, discrimination, authoritarianism and socioeconomic instability. They also dispute the notion of post-war transition’s temporal nature, and provide arguments for its recognition as a new political system. As the main incentives of the Bosnian post-Dayton system, they acknowledge mutually exclusive political discourses of three Bosnian constituent nations and consequential structural selectivity, and the shortcomings of liberal peace- and statebuilding in the form of international trusteeship. Furthermore, the authors apply the structure-agency approach and critical discourse analysis to explain these complex processes, including the critical perspective of liberal peacebuilding, as opposed to the ‘problem-solving’ approach. In conclusion, they offer different indicators of Bosnian state fragility and suggest this fragility is more a political strategy than an intended consequence of liberal peacebuilding.