Advertisement

The Narrative of the Homeland War in Croatia

  • Ivor Sokolić
Chapter
Part of the Memory Politics and Transitional Justice book series (MPTJ)

Abstract

Croats feel that they were victims of greater Serbian aggression during the 1991–1995 conflict and that only their heroic self-defence prevented the destruction of the Croatian state and nation. The narrative of the Homeland War is constructed on these notions and forms a central component of the nation- and state-building projects in Croatia. This chapter analyses the key characteristics of the narrative by drawing on legal documents, previous scholarship and focus group data. The war narrative is omnipresent in Croatian society and affects public perceptions of law, history, minority rights and civil society. Many individuals feel the war is not over and has continued on the negotiating table, thereby keeping the war central to their lives, a sentiment that is reproduced by political elites. The transitional justice process took place within this context, and it is this narrative that judicial narratives interact with.

References

  1. Ashplant, T. G., Dawson, G. L., & Roper, M. (2000). The politics of war memory and commemoration. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Banjeglav, T. (2012). Conflicting memories, competing narratives and contested histories in Croatia’s post-war commemorative practices. Politička Misao, 49, 7–31.Google Scholar
  3. Bernhard, M. H., & Kubik, J. (2014). Twenty years after communism: The politics of memory and commemoration. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blanuša, B. (2017). Trauma and taboo: Forbidden political questions in Croatia. Politička Misao, 54, 170–196.Google Scholar
  5. Ciper, T. (2012). Funkcija političkog mita. O koristi mitskog za demokraciju [The function of political myths. About the uses of myth for democracy]. Anali hrvatskog politološkog društva, 9(1), 7–19.Google Scholar
  6. Drumbl, M. A. (2007). Atrocity, punishment and international law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eliade, M. (1963). Myth and reality. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  8. Hayden, R. M. (1996). Imagined communities and real victims: Self-determination and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia. American Ethnologist, 23, 783–801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Index.hr. (2018). Veterani prijete: Dajemo Plenkoviću 72 sata da riješi problem sa Slovenijom ili ćemo mi [The veterans threaten: We give Plenković 72 hours to fix the problem with Slovenia of we will do it]. Index.hr. Available at http://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/veterani-prijete-dajemo-plenkovicu-72-sata-da-rijesi-problem-sa-slovenijom-ili-cemo-mi/1017251.aspx.
  10. Jović, D. (2009). Croatia after Tudjman: The ICTY and issues of transitional justice. Chaillot Paper, 116, 13–27.Google Scholar
  11. Jović, D. (2017) Rat i mit: Politika identiteta u suvremenoj Hrvatskoj [War and myth: The politics of identity in contemporary Croatia]. Zagreb: Fraktura.Google Scholar
  12. Koren, S. (2011). “Korisna prošlost”? Ratovi devetesetih u deklaracijama hrvatskog sabora [“Useful past”? The wars of the ninites in the declarations of the Croatian Sabor]. In T. Cipek (Ed.), Kultura sjećanja: 1991. Povijesni lomovi i svladanje prošlosti [Culture of memory: 1991. Historical breaks and overcoming the past] (pp. 123–156). Zagreb: Disput.Google Scholar
  13. Kolstø, P. l. (2011). Strategies of symbolic nation-building in west Balkan states: Intents and results. University of Oslo. Available at http://www.hf.uio.no/ilos/english/research/projects/nation-w-balkan/.
  14. Linz, J. J. (1978). Crisis, breakdown, and reequalibration. In J. J. Linz & A. C. Stepan (Eds.), The breakdown of democratic regimes (pp. 1–97). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Lutz, E., & Sikkink, S. (2001). The justice cascade: The evolution and impact of foreign human rights trails in Latin America. Chicago Journal of International Law, 2, 1–33.Google Scholar
  16. MacDonald, D. B. (2002). Balkan holocausts? Serbian and Croatian victim-centred propaganda and the war in Yugoslavia. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Narodne Novine. (2000). Deklaracija o Domovinskom Ratu [Declaration on the Homeland War]. Available at http://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/265079.html.
  18. Narodne Novine. (2006). Deklaracija o Oluji NN [Declaration on Operation Storm]. Available at http://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/127530.html.
  19. Osiel, M. (1998). Mass atrocity, collective memory and the law. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Osiel, M. (2009). Making sense of mass atrocity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pavlaković, V. (2014). Fulfilling the thousand-year-old dream: Strategies of symbolic nation-building in Croatia. In P. Kolstø (Ed.), Strategies of symbolic nation-building in south eastern Europe (pp. 19–50). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  22. Peskin, V., & Boduszynski, M. (2003). International justice and domestic politics: Post-Tudjman Croatia and the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Europe-Asia Studies, 55, 1117–1142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ristić, K. (2014). Imaginary trials: War crime trials and memory in former Yugoslavia. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag.Google Scholar
  24. Sartori, G. (1976). Parties and party systems: A framework for analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Schäuble, M. (2014). Narrating victimhood: Gender, religion and the making of place in post-war Croatia. Oxford: Barghahn.Google Scholar
  26. Vučković, S. (2018). Dišu kao jedan [They are breathing as one]. Dnevno.hr. Available at http://www.dnevno.hr/domovina/disu-kao-jedan-branitelji-slazemo-se-moramo-zastititi-nase-ribare-1113758/.
  27. Zertal, I. (2005). Israel’s holocaust and the politics of nationhood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivor Sokolić
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

Personalised recommendations