Making the Transition provides an analysis of processes of reform, reconstruction and restructuring in the criminal justice field in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the years since it completed a violent secession from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Across the three sectors of policing, courts and prisons, the work details the challenges facing Bosnia and Herzegovina and explores a range of internationally-sponsored reform initiatives. These three sectors are often examined independently of each other, but by analysing their development side by side Making the Transition is able to determine common challenges while establishing different logics and methods of international intervention.
The book reflects the author’s education in a number of disciplines (politics, history, criminology) and is a useful addition to the bookshelf of those with an interest in the mechanics of state-building and in the reconstruction of post-conflict states.
About this book:
‘Andy Aitchison succeeds in making a book that is big in insight out of what to many might seem like a small topic – the transformation (or not) of the criminal justice systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the dissolution of Yugoslavia. He writes with clarity and nuance about these changes in the context of more general themes of transitional justice in Europe and Southern Africa, and this superb historically, politically and theoretically informed book should be read by all those with an interest in the challenges and pitfalls of efforts to reform policing, court and prison processes.’
Professor Mike Levi, Cardiff University
‘The depth and breadth of Aitchison’s sources are two of the book’s greatest strengths, providing a broad but nuanced view of the social, economic, and political situation surrounding the reforms. [M]aking the Transition provides a wonderfully detailed description of the post-conflict criminal justice system of BiH. While the book may run short on analysis, it is highly useful providing a snapshot of a transitional justice system based on a vast amount of information, including first hand descriptions of observers and practitioners. As such, it serves as a important building block for those seeking to construct a geographically wide-ranging understanding of the issues and challenges involved in state-building and criminal justice reform in a post-conflict, post-authoritarian society.’
Madalyn Wasilczuk in Journal of International Law and Politics, 2012, 1000
‘Aitchison has written a well-researched and readable book that will be a useful source for scholars of Bi Hand criminal justice reform more broadly. […] And he judiciously describes the different motivations of reforming agencies […] As evidenced by the continuing central role of the justice sector in BiH politics this book […] is highly relevant.’
Valery Perry in Security and Human Rights 2012, 75
‘Since the book gives a concise introduction to the historical context and important concepts and terms, it is not only for experts in the field of criminal law reform and reconstruction of states, rather it is also suitable also for readers who have not extensively dealt with these themes before’
Eva Dinchel in Polizei Newsletter 2014
About the author
Since 2006, Andy Aitchison has lectured at the University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science, where he now co-directs the MSc programme in Global Crime, Justice and Security. He holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University and has previously worked as a researcher for the UK Home Office and Cardiff University. His research interests focus on international participation in criminal justice reform in post-conflict environments and on the participation of police in war crimes.
Countries emerging from long periods of authoritarian rule must often confront a legacy of gross human rights abuses perpetrated over many years. During the past two decades, these age-old issues have been termed “problems of transitional justice”, both by academics and policy makers around the world. Given the frequency with which these problems arise, as well as the complexity of the issues involved, it is striking that no book series has taken the issue of transitional justice as its point of focus.
The Series on Transitional Justice offers a platform for high-quality research within the rapidly growing field of transitional justice. This research is, of necessity, inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing from disciplines such as law, political science, history, sociology, criminology, anthropology and psychology, as well as from various specialised fields of study such as human rights, victimology and peace studies. It is furthermore international in outlook, drawing on the knowledge and experience of academics and other specialists in many different regions of the world.
The series is aimed at a variety of audiences who are either working or interested in fields such as crime and justice; human rights; humanitarian law and human security; conflict resolution and peace building. These audiences may include academics, researchers, students, policy makers, practitioners, non-governmental organisations and the media.
- Prof. S. Parmentier (University of Leuven, Belgium)
- Prof. Elmar Weitekamp (University of Tübingen, Germany)
- Prof. Jeremy Sarkin (University of South Africa) and
- Mina Rauschenbach (Université de Lausanne and University of Leuven) (Associate editor)
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