ID 210 - Transitional Justice: Theoretical Debates, Institutional Frameworks, and Development Impacts
“Never forget” and “never again” are promises-to remember the horrors of the past and to prevent their reoccurrence in the future. Present circumstances shape the possibilities of what can be done to realize both goals in the wake of mass atrocities. This course examines: 1) how these circumstances affect understandings of what “transitional justice” means to different actors; 2) the myriad forms it takes in different contexts (e.g. criminal proceedings, truth and reconciliation commissions, reparations, and memory projects); and 3) the impacts these initiatives have upon post-conflict reconstruction and development.
The course is divided into two sections. The first section is philosophical and historical in orientation. The focus is upon the ethical issues, political events, and the legal mechanisms out of which the concept of “transitional justice” emerged and has since become institutionalized. The second section consists of topic-focused case studies on development-related issues - ranging from displacement and corruption to sexual violence and climate change - in different countries such as Yugoslavia, Argentina, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, among others. The details shed light on both the implementation of transitional justice proceedings in concrete settings, creating the basis for informed comparative discussions.
Anticipated Terms Offered: Bi-Annually