When the regime led by Slobodan Milosević came to an end in
October 2000, expectations for social transformation in Serbia and
the rest of the Balkans were high. The international community
declared that an era of human rights had begun, while domestic
actors hoped that the conditions that had made a violent
dictatorship possible could be eliminated. More than a decade after
the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
initiated the process of bringing violators of international
humanitarian law to justice, significant legal precedents and facts
have been established, yet considerable gaps in the historical
record, along with denial and disagreements, continue to exist in
the public memory of the Yugoslav wars."Guilt, Responsibility, and
Denial" sets out to trace the political, social, and moral
challenges that Serbia faced from 2000 onward, offering an
empirically rich and theoretically broad account of what was
demanded of the country's citizens as well its political
leadership--and how these challenges were alternately confronted
and ignored. Eric Gordy makes extensive use of Serbian media to
capture the internal debate surrounding the legacy of the country's
war crimes, providing one of the first studies to examine
international institutional efforts to build a set of public
memories alongside domestic Serbian political reaction. By
combining news accounts, courtroom transcripts, online discussions,
and his own field research, Gordy explores how the conflicts and
crimes that were committed under Milosević came to be understood by
the people of Serbia and, more broadly, how projects of
transitional justice affect the ways society faces issues of guilt
and responsibility. In charting the legal, political, and cultural
forces that shape public memory, "Guilt, Responsibility, and
Denial" promises to become a standard resource for studies of
Serbia as well as the workings of international and domestic
justice in dealing with the aftermath of war crimes.
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