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Title: Salience, authority, and resources : explaining victims' compensation in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina
Author: Hronesova, Jessie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 6499
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of this thesis is to probe subnational varieties in compensation enacted for war victims in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. The current literature in transitional justice posits that mainly the nature of previous conflicts, democratic and economic development, international normative pressures, and the regional clustering of justice explain why only some post-war countries award material assistance to victims (Olsen et al. 2010; Kim 2012; Risse and Sikkink 2013; Powers and Proctor 2015). While these explanations provide critical insights into the processes behind compensation adoption across states, they do not explain why only some victim categories within a state secure compensation. Drawing on a large database of qualitative data ranging from interviews to newspaper articles collected during fieldwork in Bosnia, this thesis explores compensation for military and civilian war victims, victims of torture and sexual violence, and families of missing people. By zooming in on these victim categories in the Bosnian context, this thesis advances a new understanding of compensation for victims as an outcome of complex political, external, and economic influences exerted on the main domestic policymakers. This thesis uses a new analytical framework about the inter-category varieties in compensation that draws upon arguments about bounded agency of war victims who are constrained by the parameters of post-war political structures that to a large degree shape their strategies. I show that the different compensation outcomes can primarily be explained by the varying effectiveness of victims in convincing domestic political authorities that compensation is in their political interest by using framing and advocacy strategies at the domestic and international level. While such strategies are limited by the political and socioeconomic characteristics of the state, victim categories that are able to strategically frame their demands and access resources to mobilize are more likely to secure compensation adoption. Therefore, this thesis introduces three tools that victims can leverage - international salience, moral authority, and mobilization resources - that are shaped by both structural conditions and the victims' agency.
Supervisor: Power, Timothy Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Transitional justice ; Victimhood ; War ; Veterans ; Victims ; Sarajevo ; Srebrenica ; Bosnia and Herzegovina ; Prijedor