The only alternative discourse available for contesting ethno-national conceptions of victimhood in the post-Yugoslav space has been so far the “international-legalist” one based on international (criminal) legal concepts. While the latter cannot be compared to the ethno-national one in terms of exclusive effects, it has however been conspicuously criticized for its blindness to certain forms of violence, and therefore, victimhood. By working with the idea of “unknowing victims” of structural violence (Christie 1986), this project seeks alternative conceptualizations of victimhood that may work as a diagnostic tool to illuminate, rather than obscure, diverse forms of violence (e.g. structural, institutional, corporate, etc.). In order to do so, it builds on alternative ideas of victimhood emerging sporadically at the civil society level in the region.
Caterina Bonora is a lecturer of European Studies at the University of Bremen, Germany and holds a PhD in political science from the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences. Recent publications include: The transformative potential of post-war justice initiatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina. (With Lai, Daniela) In Evans, M. (ed) Transitional and Transformative Justice. Critical and International Perspectives. London: Routledge, 2019 and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s foreign policy orientation towards International Judicial Institutions. In D. Karabegović and J. Hasić (eds), Bosnia-Herzegovina’s foreign policy since independence. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming, 2019).