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Scholars have studied how women’s domestic and transnational civil society activism addresses the gendered nature of transitional justice. In contrast, they have paid scant attention to women’s impact on transitional justice policy-making in institutions. We leverage the feminist institutionalist perspective that makes visible gendered norms, rules, and discourses in institutions. Homing in on women’s influence in parliaments where women are outnumbered by men and marginalised by adversarial discourse, we develop a conceptualisation of women’s discursive agency. Foregrounding discourse in women’s ability to drive change, women’s agency is enacted through their linguistic communication style and substantive normative positions that constitute micro- and macro-level structures of domination. Quantitative and qualitative discourse analysis is applied to a corpus of parliamentary questions about transitional justice in the Croatian parliament from 2004 to 2020. Our results show that women adopt the adversarial style of questioning, which they use to broaden the scope of entitlements and press for reparations for female and male victims. They overcome constraints posed by partisanship and ideology, while constraints of nationalism are less easily broken. The article advances feminist transitional justice by demonstrating how women’s language contributes to dismantling men’s policy domination in institutions, with implications for mixed-sex interactions in non-institutional domains.
In response to the pull of prospective membership of the European Union (EU), the states, societies and economies of the Balkan countries are undergoing unprecedented change. Their transformation has been shaped by a double legacy of communism and ethnic conflict, distinguishing their efforts from the transitional experience of their counterparts in east central Europe. How do these legacies interact with the goal of becoming a part of the EU? Is political and economic liberalisation a sufficient foundation for the Europeanisation of the Balkan states? How can the extent of their post-communist and post-conflict transformation and European integration be gauged? To tackle these questions, the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, and the Institute for East European Studies at the Free University, Berlin, organised a two-day conference to examine the nature of transnational relations in the Balkans. With the financial support of Volkswagen Stiftung, the conference, entitled ‘Transnationalism in the Balkans: The Emergence, Nature and Impact of Cross-national Linkages on an Enarged and Enlarging Europe’, took place at the LSE in November 2004.
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