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Norm contestation and reconciliation: evidence from a regional transitional justice process in the Balkans

Kostovicova, Denisa and Bicquelet, Aude (2018) Norm contestation and reconciliation: evidence from a regional transitional justice process in the Balkans. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41 (4). pp. 681-700. ISSN 0141-9870

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01419870.2018.1380211

Abstract

We have limited understanding of how ethnic groups can achieve an agreement on tackling the legacy of war crimes, because transitional justice scholars have been focused primarily on challenges to post-conflict reconciliation. Addressing this gap, we investigate whether contestation over the norm of transitional justice prevents inter-ethnic reconciliation, operationalized by us as reconciliatory discourse. Empirical evidence is drawn from the study of debates conducted by a transnational advocacy network (RECOM), which proposes a regional fact-finding commission in the Balkans. Applying text analysis to identify key themes in these debates, we find reconciliatory discourse in those debates where there is norm contestation. Also, the spatial scale of a transitional justice process matters. We identify different patterns of discourse at different levels of debates. Debates containing norm contestation are associated with ethnically-centered arguments at the national level, but with sustained scrutiny of proposed solutions at the regional level despite ethnic divisions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rers20/current
Additional Information: © 2017 Routledge
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 10:15
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 05:24
Projects: RF-2015-262
Funders: Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/84241

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