Stories of “Success”: Narrative, Expertise, and Claims to Knowledge
Abstract

This paper explores the possibilities provided by narrative interviewing for critically assessing claims of success regarding reconciliation policies in Brčko District, Bosnia-Herzegovina. More specifically, the paper argues that such claims of success are based on claims to expertise. Certain understandings of the harm, i.e., the inter-ethnic violence committed during the 1992-1995 war, and of the policies designed to address it, i.e., reconciliation policies based on a logic of multi-ethnic living, gain credence based on the supposed expertise of particular actors. However, knowledge of harm and of the impact of policies designed to address it is produced through the subjectivity of different actors’ positionalities, and therefore assumptions about the figure of “the expert” need to be unsettled. This paper explores the possibilities offered by narrative interviewing and analysis for bringing to the fore the complicated ways in which expertise is produced in certain places at certain times.


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