The struggle for redress: Victim Capital in Bosnia and Herzegovina

How do we explain the differences in which victim groups are recognized and redressed in a post-war state? Opening with a puzzle about the diverse patterns of recognition and redress across victim groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina after 1995, this chapter introduces the topic of the book, its key concepts and arguments. Bosnian survivors of sexual violence and torture, families of the missing and killed persons, paraplegics and sufferers from other injuries have been granted varied types of redress across Bosnia. This piecemeal approach to redress and recognition seems haphazard and inconsistent with victims’ needs and rights. However, as this chapter argues, this—at first glance inexplicable—complexity of redress can be traced to the intricate developments in post-war Bosnia and the differing patterns in victim capital of each of the studied groups. This chapter introduces the key components of victim capital as international salience, moral authority and mobilization resources, as well as how they combine. Finally, it describes the used methods and conducted fieldwork, before outlining the structure of the book.