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Mobilizing Truth: Agenda Setting in a Transnational Social Movement

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Abstract:

This article provides a neoinstitutionalist account of how a transnational social movement (TSM) sets its agenda. A theoretical framework is presented to reveal how logics from the transnational and local organizational fields influence legal mobilization. To provide insight into how a TSM accommodates contradictory and competing logics within and between these fields, this article examines mobilization around a fact‐finding commission, sometimes called a truth commission, to address the ongoing social and political divides in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The findings, based on fieldwork conducted between 2009 and 2011, are used to develop the theoretical concept of a quasi‐judicial medium, a legal body that, initially, will appeal to a variety of actors, but may be unable to adequately address existing divides. The conclusions point to further directions in the study of transnational legal mobilization, particularly the conditions under which the ambiguity of a movement strategy helps meet and/or moderate movement goals.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-4469.2012.01317.x

Affiliations: Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Berkeley Law School, 2240 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley, CA 94720

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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