Socioeconomic Justice: International Intervention & Transition in Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina

For more than two decades international interveners and local stakeholders in Bosnia and Herzegovina have relied on the narrow and legalistic conceptualization of post-war justice, empowered a limited group of people, and focused on top-down statebuilding. The prevailing liberal peacebuilding and economic reforms have narrowed down the spectrum of possible justice claims, made difficult the incorporation of socioeconomic forms of transitional justice, and neglected experiences of socioeconomic violence of the affected communities.      

In her book “Socioeconomic Justice: International Intervention & Transition in Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina“, Daniela Lai follows how experiences of socioeconomic violence turn into socioeconomic justice claims and social justice struggles, and by doing so she shows how socioeconomic justice acts as a bridge between transitional justice and broader social justice struggles. Drawing upon empirical cases of post-war and post-socialist towns of Zenica and Prijedor, and 2014 social mobilization in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she defines socioeconomic justice as the redress of violence rooted in the political economy of conflict, and transitional justice as a political process that involves forms of contestation and social mobilization.

If the boundaries of justice processes are set in such a way that marginalizes experience of socioeconomic violence, bringing socioeconomic justice into the discussion and seeking redress will necessarily involve political contestation and struggle.” (Lai, 2020 p.35)

In this conversation with Dr. Daniela Lai you’ll be hearing about:

  • socioeconomic justice as the redress of violence rooted in the political economy of conflict;
  • the role and responsibility of international interveners;
  • the need to conceptualize transitional justice as a political process that involves forms of contestation and social mobilization;
  • cases of Zenica and Prijedor and 2014 social mobilization in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • transitional justice in light of the current moment in the US

 

Dr. Daniela Lai is Lecturer in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research focuses on transitional justice and peacebuilding, the politics and political economy of international interventions, and post-war transitions. She has a particular interest in the gendered dimension of these processes and in feminist approaches to the study of justice, peace and political economy. Daniela also writes about methodology and methods in IR, research ethics and fieldwork. Daniela’s book Socioeconomic Justice: International Intervention and Transition in Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.

Recent works:
– Lai, D. (2020). Practicing Solidarity:‘Reconciliation’and Bosnian Protest Movements. Ethnopolitics, 19(2), pp.168-187.

– Lai, D. (2019). What has justice got to do with it? Gender and the political economy of post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. Review of International Political Economy, Online First, pp.1-23.

Poscast host: Sladjana Lazic

Text and edits: Sladjana Lazic

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