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Heroes, Courts and Normative Clashes: The Effects of Transitional Justice on Norms and Narratives in Croatia

Sokolic, I; (2016) Heroes, Courts and Normative Clashes: The Effects of Transitional Justice on Norms and Narratives in Croatia. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the expressivist, or extra-legal, effects of the transitional justice process in Croatia that began following the 1991-1995 conflict. It analyses how international and domestic war crimes trials, as well as civil society efforts, have led to deliberation over norms and narratives related to the war. This is based on a deliberative understanding of the transitional justice process, which focuses on the potential for trials to initiate public deliberation that involves multiple representations of the past. The primary method of data collection was focus groups with teachers, pensioners and members of war veterans' groups across several locations, while follow-up interviews, a brief survey and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) were used to verify results. The results of the analysis question theories of human rights norm cascades, since in the case of Croatia stronger "everyday" narratives have undermined the trickle-down effects of transitional justice narratives advocated by authorities. Chief among these highly trusted "everyday" narratives is the predominant Croatian war narrative, one of defence against a larger Serbian aggressor, which permeates across Croatian society and aspects of which are not questioned at all. The effect of this is that transitional justice efforts work in an atmosphere of cynicism and distrust with institutions, unless their narrative is in line with "everyday" expectations, and they therefore struggle to compete with personal and local narratives. These narratives strongly affect how the Croatian public understands the rule of law and history, as well as how it regards the Serb minority in the state.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Heroes, Courts and Normative Clashes: The Effects of Transitional Justice on Norms and Narratives in Croatia
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: transitional justice, Croatia, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), war narrative, Focus group methodology, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1527443
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