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Coming to terms with Kosovo’s past: civil society, transitional justice and historical accounting

This Foreign Policy Centre seminar, in partnership with the University of Lancaster, will look at the role played by non-state actors and particularly journalists in re-establishing a shared historical record in post-conflict societies, with a particular focus on Kosovo. In a Kosovan context where state-sponsored initiatives for transitional justice may lack capacity and struggle to gain the confidence of all communities, this seminar will examine the vital role journalists and other non-state actors can play in challenging official narratives, providing a more accurate account of recent history and disseminating that information to a wider audience. It can also examine the role the media can play in exacerbating historical grievance and reinforcing narratives that divide communities or obscure the past.

The seminar will examine these dynamics on the ground in Kosovo in the context of the historic role the UK has played in the country and how it might assist in future, given both the withdrawal from EU support mechanisms after Brexit and the UK government’s renewed focus on the wider region following its 2018 Western Balkans Summit Commitments. It will build on the findings of the recent University of Lancaster and British Academy project Transitional Justice and ‘Transitional Journalism’: Understanding the Role of Journalists as Non-State Actors in the Delivery of Historical Justice – Case Study on Kosovo.

When January 21, 2020 6pm-7.30pm

Grimond Room, Portcullis House, London, SW1A 2JR



Baroness Helic, Board Member, Trust Fund for Victims, International Criminal Court

Professor James A. Sweeney, Centre for International Law and Human Rights (CILHR), University of Lancaster

Dr Birte Julia Gippert, University of Liverpool

Dr Florian Qehaja, Chair of the Board, Kosovar Centre for Security Studies

Chair: Adam Hug, Director, The Foreign Policy Centre

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.


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