The transformative potential of post-war justice initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Book chapter


Lai, D. and Bonora, C (2019). The transformative potential of post-war justice initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina. in: Evans, M (ed.) Transitional and Transformative Justice: Critical and International Perspectives Routledge.
AuthorsLai, D. and Bonora, C
EditorsEvans, M
Abstract

This chapter investigates the transformative potential of civil society initiatives in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. The implementation of transitional justice in the former Yugoslav region heavily relied on retributive justice, through the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and tribunals. As transitional justice became synonym with war crimes trials, however, civil society initiatives tried to address other marginalised dimensions of the process of dealing with the past. This chapter questions what ‘transformative justice’ might mean in this context, and argues that developing a transformative approach to transitional justice requires shifting away from a focus on international and state-sponsored institutions, and turning towards grassroots processes of dealing with the past. The analysis of these initiatives shows that, compared to the traditional transitional justice paradigm, transformative approaches better capture local understandings of post-war justice. By looking at the cases of the Regional Commission (RECOM) initiative, the 2014 socioeconomic protests and the Women’s Court in Sarajevo, this chapter illustrates the transformative potential of social mobilisation around justice themes, as well as its limitations. In doing so, it takes into account the tension between grassroots activism and professionalization/institutionalisation, the challenges of overcoming ethnicity as an organising principle, and attempts to escape from the ‘liberal transition’ as the paradigmatic goal of transitional justice processes.

Year2019
Book titleTransitional and Transformative Justice: Critical and International Perspectives
PublisherRoutledge
Edition1
ISBN9781138478510
Publication dates
Print01 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Sep 2018
Accepted19 Sep 2018
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8676z

Accepted author manuscript

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