Between Justice and Stability: The Politics of War Crimes Prosecutions in Post-Miloševic Serbia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Between Justice and Stability

The Politics of War Crimes Prosecutions in Post-Miloševic Serbia, 1st Edition

By Mladen Ostojic


264 pages

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Hardback: 9781409467427
pub: 2014-08-19
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315569116
pub: 2016-04-15
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Exploring the impact of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) on regime change in Serbia, this book examines the relationship between international criminal justice and democratisation. It analyses in detail the repercussions of the ICTY on domestic political dynamics and provides an explanatory account of Serbia's transition to democracy. Lack of cooperation and compliance with the ICTY was one of the biggest obstacles to Serbia's integration into Euro-Atlantic political structures following the overthrow of Milosevic. By scrutinising the attitudes of the Serbian authorities towards the ICTY and the prosecution of war crimes, Ostojic explores the complex processes set in motion by the international community's policies of conditionality and by the prosecution of the former Serbian leadership in The Hague. Drawing on a rich collection of empirical data, he demonstrates that the success of international judicial intervention is premised upon democratic consolidation and that transitional justice policies are only ever likely to take root when they do not undermine the stability and legitimacy of political institutions on the ground.


After the rapid change of regime in 2000, Serbia's new government faced demands to establish itself in power, build democratic institutions, satisfy international powerholders, and provide justice. Mladen Ostojic gives us valuable insight as to why all of those goals did not always go together. His interviews with post-2000 officials shed new light on the dilemmas of an incoming regime.

Eric Gordy, University College London, UK

Between Justice and Stability provides an incisive and lucid analysis of the impact of international justice on Serbia's political evolution since the fall of Milosevic. By examining the complexities and at times counterproductive effects of external judicial intervention in a post-conflict society, it presents a valuable contribution to the current debates on transitional justice in the Balkans and beyond.

Jasna Dragovic-Soso, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

There is much to be admired in Between justice and stability by Mladen Ostojic, not least as it fills a major gap in the literature on the democratic transition of the ex-Yugoslav space. By focusing on transitional justice and its relationship to democratic transition in Serbia and the attitudes of ruling elites, the author demonstrates how complex and challenging this relationship really was. Ostojic bases his argument on a variety of primary sources, including interviews with leading politicians, official documents, reports and speeches, producing a rather thought-provoking and informative read. This work is very well written and presents plausible arguments and I most warmly recommend it as both a useful and an engaging read.

International Affairs

About the Author

Mladen Ostojić specializes in different aspects of international intervention and democracy-promotion in South-East Europe. He completed his PhD at Queen Mary, University of London, in 2011. His research expertise lies in the areas of transitional justice, democratisation, Europeanisation and civil society development in South-East Europe.

About the Series

Southeast European Studies

Southeast European Studies

The Balkans are a region of Europe widely associated over the past decades with violence and war. Beyond this violence, the region has experienced rapid change in recent times though, including democratization, economic and social transformation. New scholarship is emerging which seeks to move away from the focus on violence alone to an understanding of the region in a broader context drawing on new empirical research.

The Southeast European Studies Series seeks to provide a forum for this new scholarship. Publishing cutting-edge, original research and contributing to a more profound understanding of Southeastern Europe while focusing on contemporary perspectives the series aims to explain the past and seeks to examine how it shapes the present. Focusing on original empirical research and innovative theoretical perspectives on the region the series includes original monographs and edited collections. It is interdisciplinary in scope, publishing high-level research in political science, history, anthropology, sociology, law and economics and accessible to readers interested in Southeast Europe and beyond.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / International