A book talk with author Jelena Subotic (Georgia State University, Political Science) and discussant Chip Gagnon (Ithaca College, Politics)
In Hijacked Justice, Jelena Subotić traces the design, implementation, and political outcomes of institutions established to deal with the legacies of violence in the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars. She finds that international efforts to establish accountability for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia have been used to pursue very different local political goals. Responding to international pressures, Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia have implemented various mechanisms of "transitional justice"—the systematic addressing of past crimes after conflicts end. Transitional justice in the three countries, however, was guided by ulterior political motives: to get rid of domestic political opponents, to obtain international financial aid, or to gain admission to the European Union. Subotić argues that when transitional justice becomes "hijacked" for such local political strategies, it fosters domestic backlash, deepens political instability, and even creates alternative, politicized versions of history.
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