Transitional justice in multiple transitions: case study of Croatia
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The aim of this thesis is to establish a novel framework in the study of transitional justice. It is concerned with cases where there are more transitions that happen in the same country. So far, these cases have mostly been studied in part, without looking at the whole process. They should be studied with all the possible transitions and transitional justice contexts looked at side by side, and with a model which allows a comparison along the same conceptual lines. Some possible ways multiple transitions could influence transitional justice are laid out. They could hinder the process by working against each other and not allowing the state to adequately process any of them. Some contexts could also be ignored because of the continuity in the political elite that exists between those contexts and the democratic regime. Or, one context could take over the whole process and not allow the other contexts to be adequately processed. Another phenomenon that could occur is the mixing of different contexts in the process of transitional justice, which can be observed when single policies are used to deal with issues from distinct contexts. This new framework is then applied to a case study of transitional justice in Croatia, which experienced post-communist, post-authoritarian and post-conflict transitional justice. Measures relating to the three contexts are presented, and categorized according to their aim and type. Measures can be aimed at either perpetrators or victims of crimes, and they can be criminal-judicial, political-administrative or symbolic-representational in nature. In the post-communist context, they can also be distinguished according to the period they are meant to tackle. The patterns across the contexts are then compared and contrasted. It is found that the most important factors which determine transitional justice are the degree of continuity of the political elite and the existence of external pressure to undertake transitional justice. Enough connections between the contexts were arguably found to justify the separate conceptualization of transitional justice in multiple transitions.
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