War Crimes, Democracy, and the Rule of Law in Belgrade, the Former Yugoslavia, and Beyond

The creation and operation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is an advance in the rule of law and arguably part of a larger process of the globalization of democratic norms. Yet support for the ICTY is increasingly influenced by local processes in which these norms are contested by indigenous parties and forces. We explore this issue with regard to support of Serbs living in and outside of Serbia for the ICTY in comparison to local courts. Serbs in Belgrade are distinctive in insisting that war criminals be tried in their places of origin, while Serbs in Sarajevo and Vukovar agree with other groups in these settings that war criminals should be tried in the locations where their crimes occurred. This is compelling evidence of the localized influence of cultural norms on ethnic and national group members in post–war crime settings.