Democratizing justice in the post-conflict Balkans

The dilemma of domestic human rights activists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Years of international and national accountability efforts in the former Yugoslavia have only partially helped post-conflict societies to transition. To complement retributive justice efforts more recently, human rights activists have launched a campaign to establish a regional truth commission. This article explores the intricate efforts among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in several states across the region - particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia - to coordinate this movement. Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews, this study illustrates the movement's struggle from within - caused by the conflicting interests of its members - and from outside, as it seeks support from international and region-specific organizations as well as national governments. While activists have remained unsuccessful in institutionalizing new truth spaces, this article argues that the state-centric strategy of human rights advocates during the campaign widened the gap between the activist leaders and victims' groups, their principal supporters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-268
Number of pages26
JournalCEU Political Science Journal
Volume7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2012

Fingerprint

Southeastern Europe
human rights
campaign
justice
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia
Yugoslavia
Croatia
participant observation
non-governmental organization
leader
responsibility
interview
society
Group

Keywords

  • Former yugoslavia
  • Human rights activism
  • Post-conflict justice
  • Truth commission

Cite this

@article{32617419a5224e5f82d7722dd3295b7e,
title = "Democratizing justice in the post-conflict Balkans: The dilemma of domestic human rights activists",
abstract = "Years of international and national accountability efforts in the former Yugoslavia have only partially helped post-conflict societies to transition. To complement retributive justice efforts more recently, human rights activists have launched a campaign to establish a regional truth commission. This article explores the intricate efforts among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in several states across the region - particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia - to coordinate this movement. Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews, this study illustrates the movement's struggle from within - caused by the conflicting interests of its members - and from outside, as it seeks support from international and region-specific organizations as well as national governments. While activists have remained unsuccessful in institutionalizing new truth spaces, this article argues that the state-centric strategy of human rights advocates during the campaign widened the gap between the activist leaders and victims' groups, their principal supporters.",
keywords = "Former yugoslavia, Human rights activism, Post-conflict justice, Truth commission",
author = "Arnaud Kurze",
year = "2012",
month = "9",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
pages = "243--268",
journal = "CEU Political Science Journal",
issn = "1992-3147",
publisher = "Central European University",
number = "3",

}

Democratizing justice in the post-conflict Balkans : The dilemma of domestic human rights activists. / Kurze, Arnaud.

In: CEU Political Science Journal, Vol. 7, No. 3, 01.09.2012, p. 243-268.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Democratizing justice in the post-conflict Balkans

T2 - The dilemma of domestic human rights activists

AU - Kurze, Arnaud

PY - 2012/9/1

Y1 - 2012/9/1

N2 - Years of international and national accountability efforts in the former Yugoslavia have only partially helped post-conflict societies to transition. To complement retributive justice efforts more recently, human rights activists have launched a campaign to establish a regional truth commission. This article explores the intricate efforts among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in several states across the region - particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia - to coordinate this movement. Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews, this study illustrates the movement's struggle from within - caused by the conflicting interests of its members - and from outside, as it seeks support from international and region-specific organizations as well as national governments. While activists have remained unsuccessful in institutionalizing new truth spaces, this article argues that the state-centric strategy of human rights advocates during the campaign widened the gap between the activist leaders and victims' groups, their principal supporters.

AB - Years of international and national accountability efforts in the former Yugoslavia have only partially helped post-conflict societies to transition. To complement retributive justice efforts more recently, human rights activists have launched a campaign to establish a regional truth commission. This article explores the intricate efforts among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in several states across the region - particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia - to coordinate this movement. Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews, this study illustrates the movement's struggle from within - caused by the conflicting interests of its members - and from outside, as it seeks support from international and region-specific organizations as well as national governments. While activists have remained unsuccessful in institutionalizing new truth spaces, this article argues that the state-centric strategy of human rights advocates during the campaign widened the gap between the activist leaders and victims' groups, their principal supporters.

KW - Former yugoslavia

KW - Human rights activism

KW - Post-conflict justice

KW - Truth commission

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84867905049&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 243

EP - 268

JO - CEU Political Science Journal

JF - CEU Political Science Journal

SN - 1992-3147

IS - 3

ER -