Per Parish, Dodik sought a confrontation with viceroy Inzko because he needed a political victory to bolster his domestic standing. He never intended to go through with the referendum, only to force the Empire's hand - as he did when Baroness Ashton came to visit him and negotiate a deal.
As I argue in this week's column at Antiwar.com, Ashton's actions directly torpedoed any remaining vestige of Inzko's authority, to the point where he might soon get "promoted" out of Bosnia. Parish acknowledges this in passing, but he's much more interested in Dodik and his goals. He posits that Dodik is seeking international attention because Bosnia has grown too small for him:
"...the Bosnian model of state-building has failed and Dodik already has most of what he wants. His sole remaining goal is to reposition international attitudes towards the Balkans and at the same time reinvent himself as a respected international statesman. [...]
We should remember one other thing. Dodik is only 52. One can only wonder what political office he may have in mind after the one he holds now."
This is honestly an angle I haven't given any thought so far. If Dodik is seeking a future beyond the RS and Bosnia, it is doubtful that means Belgrade. So would it be Brussels, then? Time will tell.
Either way, those who put their hopes in Imperial support and the viceroys' powers ought to be very concerned about the future of their own designs. It doesn't look particularly bright.