The Paradox of International Justice Compliance

  • Subotić J
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1This article explores a fundamental paradox of international justice compliance. Under conditions of strong international pressures and low domestic demand for justice, domestic political elites use international tools and institutions designed to bring justice and provide reconciliation for very different local purposes, such as getting rid of domestic political opponents, obtaining international financial aid or as a proxy for admission to such prestigious international organizations as the European Union. To explain theoretically the domestic political use of international justice, the article introduces a new theoretical approach to international justice compliance. It first presents two kinds of international pressures to which states are subjected: coercive and symbolic. It then identifies specific domestic political conditions that influence which strategy of compliance domestic actors undertake and what consequences these alternative strategies have for international justice policy outcomes. The theoretical model is illustrated with empirical evidence from Serbian and Croatian compliance with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

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  • Jelena Subotić

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