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International Criminal Tribunals as Actors of Domestic Change

The Impact on Media Coverage, Volume 2

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Edited By Klaus Bachmann, Irena Ristić and Gerhard Kemp

Do International Criminal Tribunals trigger social change, provide reconciliation, stabilize fragile post-conflict societies? Many authors claim they do, but they base their assumptions mainly on theoretical considerations and opinion polls. The editors and authors of this book take a different position: based on extensive field research in nine European and African countries, they examine whether tribunal decisions resulted in changes in media frames about the conflicts which gave rise to the creation of these tribunals. International Tribunals hardly ever shape or change the grand narratives about wars and other conflicts, but they often manage to trigger small changes in media frames which, in some cases, even lead to public reflexion about guilt and responsibility and more awareness for (the respective enemy's) victims. On an empirical basis, this book shows the potential of International Criminal Justice, the possibilities, but also the limits of International Criminal Tribunals. Volume 2 presents the evidence from Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan.

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This is the second volume of the publication “International Criminal Tribunals as Actors of Domestic Change. The impact on media coverage”, which is one of the results of a five-year research project carried out by Klaus Bachmann, Irena Ristić, and Gerhard Kemp and which was financed by the Polish National Science Centre (Narodowe Centrum Nauki).1 We, the editors, have decided to split the publication into two volumes, without a replication of the theoretical and methodological introduction nor of the acknowledgments, which the interested reader will find at the beginning of volume 1. In the first volume, we also explain the background of the project and the methods, through which we tried to find out whether and eventually how International Criminal Tribunals (ICTs) affect media coverage about the conflicts which gave rise to the tribunals’ creation.

We decided to divide this publication according to the jurisdiction of the tribunals, whose impact is examined here. The first volume deals with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and hence with the ICTY’s impact on media frames in Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, whereas the current volume examines the impact of the two International Criminal Tribunals active in Africa – the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose impact we analyzed with regard to the countries, which were affected by its jurisdiction against the will of the respective government: Sudan and Kenya. Included in the analysis of the...

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