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‘Why Is My Leg Worth Less?’ Disability and the Loss of Life of Military and Civilian War Victims

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Part of the Memory Politics and Transitional Justice book series (MPTJ)

Abstract

Across Bosnia civilians who were injured or lost relatives during the war have been subject to restrictive recognition and redress. Meanwhile, military victims of war—that is families of fallen soldiers and disabled veterans—have been recipients of much broader redress benefits in both FBiH and RS. This chapter contrasts the two groups and offers explanations to why these they have been treated differently by the post-war Bosnian law. Through the case of military war victims, a scenario of Domestic Pressure is illustrated, which proposes positive outcomes as the result of a combination of victim capital with high mobilization resources and high moral authority. The case of civilian war victims partially demonstrates the Poster Child scenario of victim capital, when recognition is driven by high international salience and moral authority. This chapter represents the first building block of the book’s arguments. It also shows that as recognition of military and civilian victims was initially enacted during the war as a legacy of socialism, demands of these groups have focused on the expansion of the existing legal frameworks, or their preservation, rather than an adoption of new ones.

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Fig. 4.1

(Source Tables created from data included in the Bosnian Book of Dead [Tokača, 2012, 112–113])

Fig. 4.2

(Source Photo by the author)

Fig. 4.3

(Source Photo by the author)

Fig. 4.4

(Source Author)

Change history

  • 17 April 2021

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Barton-Hronešová, J. (2020). ‘Why Is My Leg Worth Less?’ Disability and the Loss of Life of Military and Civilian War Victims. In: The Struggle for Redress. Memory Politics and Transitional Justice. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51622-2_4

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