Balancing international justice in the Balkans: Surrogate enforcers, uncertain transitions and the road to Europe

Victor Peskin, Mieczysław P. Boduszyńskiy

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The conditionality policies of the European Union (EU) have been of crucial importance to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Bereft of police powers, the ICTY must turn to powerful international actors such as the EU to press targeted states to hand over their nationals for trial. The EU, a supporter of the tribunal and human rights, has used the promise of membership as leverage to bolster the tribunal in its quest for cooperation from the Yugoslav successor states. This article uses the case of Serbia to show that the EU has not been a consistent 'surrogate enforcer' for the tribunal. The fact that the ICTY can inadvertently empower nationalists and weaken reformers and threaten stability, has created a quandary for the EU. The article examines the EU's approach to this quandary by explaining how and why the Union has strengthened or diluted its conditionality policy vis-á-vis Serbia at key junctures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-74
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Transitional Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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