Which Commemorative Models Help? A Case Study from Post-Yugoslavia

13.12.2017 (08:50)

Chapter on the RECOM initiative in the countries of the former Yugoslavia by Jacqueline Nießer published online

A chapter on the RECOM initiative and its endeavour to come to terms with the past in the countries of the former Yugoslavia written by Jacqueline Nießer, a doctoral candidate of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, has just been published online. It is part of the book "Replicating Atonement Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities" edited by Mischa Gabowitsch and which will also be published as paperback in early 2018.

In her chapter "Which Commemorative Models Help? A Case Study from Post-Yugoslavia", Jacqueline Nießer scrutinizes the idea that a specific (national) model of dealing with the past helps also in other contexts. Grounded in ethnographic research on the RECOM initiative to establish a regional truth commission, she contrasts the “German way of remembering” with the institutional model of a truth commission. Through her post-Yugoslav case study, Nießer shows how treating Germany as a role model for dealing with past crimes rests on a fallacy that blends one country’s experience with international human rights discourse. The technical language of transitional justice is better suited to implementation as a model. However, the case of the RECOM initiative also illustrates that treating transitional justice as a model ready for implementation is also more problematic than its toolbox-style vocabulary suggests.

The Coalition for RECOM is a non-political regional gathering of civil society organizations in the countries of the former Yugoslavia promoting the establishment of a regional commission tasked with establishing the facts about all victims of war crimes and other serious human rights violations committed on the territory of the Former Yugoslavia in the period from 1991-2001.

Jacqueline Nießer: Which Commemorative Models Help? A Case Study from Post-Yugoslavia. In: Mischa Gabowitsch (ed.): Replicating Atonement. Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities (= Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan/Cham, 2017 (online), 2018 (paperback), pp. 131-161.

ISBN 978-3-319-65026-5 (Print), ISBN 978-3-319-65027-2 (Online).

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