The international community is increasingly interested in promoting post-conflict reconciliation in a variety of forms, with trials and truth commissions featured most prominently. The contemporary academic discussion over transitional justice (and the practice of transitional justice itself) is largely focused on whether and how these types of large-scale national transitional justice mechanisms contribute to reconciliation. This article examines the promise and reality of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to contribute to national reconciliation. Ultimately, the ability of state-wide policies to contribute to reconciliation rests on the active participation of local level actors. This requires political backing at the state and local level beyond that of just the international community. More attention needs to be paid to domestic cultural factors in the initial decision to implement state-wide transitional justice procedures, and bottom-up mechanisms must be built into any large scale approach to reconciliation.

Author Bio(s)

Sara Parker, Ph.D. is a Lecturer at California State University, East Bay, and Program Coordinator of undergraduate humanities and sciences at California College of the Arts. She spent eight weeks in Vukovar, Croatia in 2005 studying and researching post-conflict reconciliation. Her dissertation and prior work has examined the increasing popularity of truth commissions over the last several decades; her current research focuses more specifically on adaptive uses of the truth commission model. Email: sara.parker@csueastbay.edu


civic organizations, Croatia, grassroots organizations, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, peace education, reconciliation

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