Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk About War Crimes

Book cover

Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk About War Crimes

Wednesday, 24 May 2023 - 5:00pm to 6:45pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Denisa Kostovicova (European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science)
Marilena Anastasopoulou (Pembroke College, Oxford)
Othon Anastasakis (St Antony's College, Oxford)
Jessie Barton Hronesova (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Ca’ Foscari University in Venice); John Gledhill (Oxford Department of International Development)


If you would like to attend online please register with Zoom.

Sustainable peace after conflict requires the reconciliation of former adversaries. But, people in post-conflict societies often resist or even reject reconciliation both as a concept and practice. While reconciliation may be desirable, the question is: can people reconcile in the aftermath of mass atrocity, and how do we know they can? Drawing on her examination of the Balkans conflicts, Kostovicova discusses a novel approach to evaluating the effects of transitional justice in post-conflict societies and its policy implications presented in her book Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk about War Crimes.

Denisa Kostovicova is an Associate Professor of Global Politics at the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a scholar of conflict and peace processes with a particular interest in post-conflict reconstruction and transitional justice. She is the author of Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (Routledge 2005) and Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk about War Crimes (Cornell University Press 2023). She co-edited a number of volumes, including Rethinking Reconciliation and Transitional Justice After Conflict (Routlege 2018). She currently directs a major research programme funded by the European Research Council, titled ‘Justice Interactions and Peace-building (JUSTINT).’ Kostovicova’s research has informed policy making at the EU, UN, and in the UK.

Jessie Barton Hronesova is the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. Her general research interests are in political transitions, democratic backsliding, post-war reconstruction, memory, transitional justice and the rule of law in post-war and transitional contexts. Her main regional expertise is in the former Yugoslavia and Central Europe. She has extensive experience and knowledge of comparative politics and the international development sector, both as an academic and practitioner, especially in East Central and Southeast Europe. Her current research project called VICTIMEUR investigates how frames of victimhood have featured in the politics of post-socialist Europe in the past two decades, and whether and how such frames have influenced the current illiberal trends across the region.

John Gledhill is Associate Professor of Global Governance in Oxford's Department of International Development and a Fellow of St Cross College. Before coming to Oxford in 2011, he was an LSE Fellow in Global Politics at the London School of Economics, and he has previously taught at Georgetown and George Washington universities. In his research, writing, and teaching, John investigates diverse themes of peace and conflict, including peacekeeping and peacebuilding, conflict processes, state formation and dissolution, nonviolent resistance, and (transnational) social mobilisation. His recent academic writings have appeared in journals such as the European Journal of International RelationsInternational PeacekeepingOxford Development Studies, and the Journal of Global Security Studies.