Hijacked Justice: Domestic Politics of International Justice in the Former Yugoslavia


Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies


Political Science


This project examines how countries of the former Yugoslavia adopted international models of transitional justice (TJ) for political ends quite different from those intended by the international community. While international TJ projects are designed to fulfill social demand for justice, former Yugoslav states have used these institutions to achieve international legitimacy, undermine domestic political opposition, obtain international material payoffs, and deal with political uncertainty. When TJ becomes "hijacked" for domestic political strategies, it leads to deepening instability, delegitimization of international institutions and missed opportunity to confront the past. The study uses a comparative-historical research design to examine TJ projects and outcomes in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia.