Dissertation Proposal-- Seeking the Future: How Should Bosnians Deal with their Troubled Past? -- Miki Jacevic

Event and Presentation
Miki Jacevic
Miki Jacevic
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Dennis Sandole
Dennis Sandole
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Dissertation Proposal-- Seeking the Future: How Should Bosnians Deal with their Troubled Past? -- Miki Jacevic
Event Date:

February 22, 2012 2:00PM through 4:00PM

Event Location: Arlington Truland Building, Room 555
Past Event
Event Type: Event

This study seeks to explore how various forms and mechanisms of transitional justice have shaped the discourse of post-war reconstruction and reconciliation more than 16 years after the Dayton Peace Accords stopped the carnage in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Existing research has predominantly focused on the efforts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and its contribution to the creation of international jurisprudence related to modern war and genocide (the Rome Statue and the International Criminal Court). By extension, such literature is primarily focused on the role of key political entrepreneurs in the bloody break up of Yugoslavia, helping shed light on the role of leaders like Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman. Those studies use predominantly a legal framework, focusing primarily on retributive form of justice. However, much less is written about non-legal aspects of the various forms of transitional justice, which include both retributive and restorative forms. This study will seek to identify how legal and international discourse of ICTY intersects with realities of the Bosnian post-war period. Specifically, it seeks to understand why has international and legal framework so easily overtaken national attempts to create alterna1tive mechanisms of transitional justice, such as the four failed attempts to create a Bosnian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In addition, over the course of several years, it will track how at the grassroots level in certain locales—most affected by violence–narratives of justice and reconciliation influence people’s views and relationships with each other. The focus of this research is on interaction of various forms and levels of transitional justice—international, national, and local. The purpose is to understand the realities of complex interactions between such processes and how they might hinder or enhance efforts to build sustainable peace in Bosnia and Hercegovina. The findings will highlight challenges with different aspects of transitional justice processes, and inform current policy making; additionally, the project’s attention to communal processes at the grassroots level will offer insights on how ordinary people deal with a complicated history of the Bosnian drama. Hopefully, the lessons from Bosnia and the intersection of different discourses will help inform possible approaches to how other post-conflict societies might transition from war to peace.

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