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Abstract

This article examines Scandinavian donor practices in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) with regards to post-conflict justice activities. BiH has been a laboratory of reconstruction, peace-building and transitional justice processes since the end of the war in 1995. While issues related to rebuilding and developing war-torn societies and their economies have attracted extensive scholarly attention, the question of international aid practices in transitional justice contexts remains widely understudied. Although the influence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in reconciliatory transitional justice work has been growing, the relationship between international donors and local NGOs involved in these projects remains very limited. The objective of this study is to explore why this is the case. This research draws on Scandinavian aid practices in BiH – particularly the cases of Norway and Sweden – as Scandinavian countries are considered norm entrepreneurs not only in world politics but also in the field of development. This research relies on over three-dozen in depth interviews (with government representatives, experts, and activists), donor evaluation reports, and media documents. The article discusses the factors contributing to the reluctance of Scandinavian donors to provide financial assistance to local NGOs engaging in restorative justice processes in BiH.


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