Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Lessons from the Balkans, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Transitional Justice and Reconciliation

Lessons from the Balkans, 1st Edition

Edited by Martina Fischer, Olivera Simic


272 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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Scholars and practitioners alike agree that somehow the past needs to be addressed in order to enable individuals and collectives to rebuild trust and relationships. However, they also continue to struggle with critical questions. When is the right moment to address the legacies of the past after violent conflict? How can societies address the past without deepening the pain that arises from memories related to the violence and crimes committed in war? How can cultures of remembrance be established that would include and acknowledges the victims of all sides involved in violent conflict? How can various actors deal constructively with different interpretations of facts and history?

Two decades after the wars, societies in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia – albeit to different degrees – are still facing the legacies of the wars of the 1990s on a daily basis. Reconciliation between and within these societies remains a formidable challenge, given that all three countries are still facing unresolved disputes either at a cross-border level or amongst parallel societies that persist at a local community level.

This book engages scholars and practitioners from the regions of former Yugoslavia, as well as international experts, to reflect on the achievements and obstacles that characterise efforts to deal with the past. Drawing variously on empirical studies, theoretical discussions, and practical experience, their contributions offer invaluable insights into the complex relationship between transitional justice and conflict transformation.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Struggling with the Legacy of War - Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1995-2015, Martina Fischer Part 1: Legal Justice and the Need for Restorative Approaches 1. Dealing with the Past from the Top Down and Bottom Up - Challenges for State and Non-State Actors, Martina Fischer 2. The ICTY after 20 Years of Experience – Assessments from an Insider’s View, Klaus Hoffmann 3. The Micro Legacy of the ICTY in Croatia – A Case Study of Vukovar, Tamara Banjeglav 4. Rape, Silence and Denial, Olivera Simić 5. Political Memory as an Obstacle to Justice in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jelena Subotić Part 2: Obstacles and Prospects for Reconciliation 6. Dealing with the Past in Serbia - Achievements in the Past 20 Years, Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović & Sanja Ćopić 7. Young Adults’ Perspective of Social Reconstruction in Three Post-War Communities in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dinka Čorkalo Biruški & Dean Ajduković 8. Educating Citizens in Bosnia-Herzegovina - Experiences and Contradictions in Post-War Education Reform, Briony Jones 9. Discrimination: From Construction to Deconstruction - An Essay on the Prospects of Reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina 20 Years after Dayton, Miodrag Živanović 10. Economic Development and Perspectives for Reconciliation, Will Bartlett Conclusion: Dealing with Past Violence as a Long-Term Challenge - Lessons from the Balkans, Martina Fischer

About the Editors

Martina Fischer is Programme Director at the Berghof Foundation, Berlin; Olivera Simic is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Griffith University, Brisbane

About the Series

Transitional Justice

The study of transitional justice has emerged as one of the most diverse and intellectual exciting developments in the social sciences in the last two decades. From its origins in human rights activism and comparative political science the field is increasingly characterised by its geographic and disciplinary breadth. Routledge’s Transitional Justice series publishes innovative work across a range of disciplines working on transitional justice related topics: including law, sociology, criminology, psychology, anthropology, political science, development studies and international relations.

The series includes titles which address larger theoretical questions on transitional justice, including the intersection of notions such as justice, truth, accountability, impunity and the construction of transitional justice knowledge. It also contains critical and theoretically informed empirical work on the workings of institutions such as truth commissions, community based reconciliation, victim empowerment, ex-combatant demobilisation, or regional discussions on practical programmes in particular areas. Finally, the series covers the legal aspects of transitional justice; although, avoiding dry, overly technical or dull legal texts, it specialises in a style of legal scholarship that reflects the energy and vitality of this exciting field.

For further details on the series please contact the Series Editor.

Kieran McEvoy

Professor of Law and Transitional Justice

School of Law

Queens University Belfast


44 (0) 2890973873

[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Criminal Law / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology