UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Why Do People Use Informal Justice? Experimental Evidence from Kosovo

11 February 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm


A SSEES CCSEE Seminar with Dr Krzysztof Krakowski (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

This event is free.

Event Information

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In this online seminar, Dr Krakowski will discuss why some people resolve disputes through the state legal system, while others use religious or customary justice, with particular reference to Kosovo. He and his co-authors design hypothetical situations in which fictitious vignette characters are involved in disputes regarding inheritance, debt, domestic violence, and murder, with varying information concerning characters’ resources, their beliefs about the efficiency of state justice, and dispute settlement customs within the characters’ communities. Survey respondents assess whether a vignette character is likely to seek informal justice, given the described circumstances. They find that respondents associate informal justice with vignette characters who believe that the state would resolve their disputes very slowly, and whose other community members would not use state justice. These assessments are not driven by dispute type or likely favorability of specific justice forums. The results point to efficiency concerns and local conventions as explanations of informal justice.

Speaker info

Dr Krzysztof Krakowski is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Collegio Carlo Alberto and Research Fellow in the Department of Politics, Culture & Society at the University of Turin. He received my PhD in 2018 from the European University Institute. His research focuses on comparative politics and political economy with a special interest in political conflict.

Image credit: Leonhard_Niederwimmer on Pixabay