Source: (2012) European Journal of Criminology 9(5) 553-564

Debates about serious human rights violations and international crimes committed in the past appear during times of political transition. New political elites are confronted with fundamental questions of how to seek truth, establish accountability for offenders, provide reparation to victims, promote reconciliation, deal with trauma and build trust. ‘Transitional’ or ‘postconflict justice’ is most often managed by elites, national and international, while the views and expectations of the local populations are rarely taken into account. Population-based research can yield deep insights into strategies and mechanisms for dealing with the crimes of the past. This paper reports on the major findings of a study in Bosnia and on the factors that may contribute to trust and reconciliation in the country.