Courting Democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) struggled to apprehend and try high-profile defendants including Serbian leader Slobodan Miloševic, often receiving more criticism than praise. This volume argues that the court has made a substantial contribution to Bosnia and Herzegovina's transition to democracy. Based on over three years of field research and several hundred interviews, this study brings together multiple research methods – including surveys, ethnography and archival materials – to show the court's impact on five segments of Bosnian society, emphasizing the role of the social setting in translating international law into domestic contexts. Much of the early rhetoric about the transformative potential of international criminal law fostered unrealistic expectations of institutions like the ICTY. Judged by more realistic standards, international law is seen to play a modest yet important role in postwar transitions. These findings have implications for the study of international courts around the world and the role of law in contributing to social change.