A Micro History of Prijedor: Interpreting Mass Violence as the Interplay of Context and Agency Through the Lens of Social Action Dynamics
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis argues against macro structural explanations of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina by focusing on mass violence directed against the non-Serb population of the Prijedor region. Through a multi-level analysis, it demonstrates the essentiality of context in episodes of mass violence. Using social action theory, it puts forward the argument that context largely shapes the available action alternatives that perpetrators might perceive, which in turn affects their decision making. On the micro level it presents agency as the deciding factor in the absence of structural norms such as obedience and duress, which would otherwise have had a considerable impact on the perpetrators’ assessment of risks and incentives. The framework employed in this inquiry is based on recent interdisciplinary research in the field of conflict and genocide studies. To construct the argument, this thesis utilizes court documents from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on the basis of a qualitative factual analysis.