Accused for Involvement in Collective Violence: The Discursive Reconstruction of Agency and Identity by Perpetrators of International Crimes

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Title
Accused for Involvement in Collective Violence: The Discursive Reconstruction of Agency and Identity by Perpetrators of International Crimes
Journal
Political Psychology
Author(s)
Rauschenbach M., Staerklé C., Scalia D.
ISSN
0162-895X
1467-9221 (online)
Publication state
Published
Issued date
04/2016
Volume
37
Number
2
Pages
219-235
Language
english
Abstract
This study explores discourses about involvement in violent intergroup conflict and international crimes from
the perspective of perpetrators. Through a critical discourse analysis of 12 personal interviews carried out
with individuals accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for crimes
committed during the Yugoslav conflicts, we uncover how their discourse reveals conceptions of lacking agency
and powerlessness during the conflict, how it reconstructs power relationships within and between ethnic
groups, and how it reflects identity management strategies destined to elude blame and responsibility. Our
findings demonstrate how discourses are tainted by the legitimizing framework in which the conflict unfolded
but also how they are shaped by the particular context of the communicative situation. Findings are discussed
in terms of their significance for international criminal justice and its stated objectives.
Web of science
Funding(s)
Swiss National Science Foundation / Projects / 100015_131841
Create date
10/10/2018 11:48
Last modification date
06/11/2019 7:08
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