Overall learning goals:
- Deepen knowledge of restorative and transformative justice in different societies;
- Develop familiarity with different types of actors and institutions, involved in justice and human rights practices at the global and local level;
- Deepen understanding of justice in relation to non-eurocentric epistemic traditions and their consequences for victims;
- Through the use of case-studies in post-conflict societies and fragile states, evaluate justice efforts and their consequences for victims;
- Improve presentation, research and writing skills.
The final grade, on a scale of 1 to 10, is made up of the following components:
- (80%) of the grade for the paper
- (20%) group presentation.
Students have passed the course if the paper and group presentation are both a minimum of 5.5.
Literature is described per lecture in the reader which will be available on Blackboard. Course readings draw upon anthropology, development studies, legal studies, history, and political science. Besides articles, we use the book "Localizing Transitional Justice: Interventions and Priorities after Mass Violence", ed. Rosalind Shaw and Lars Waldorf, with Pierre Hazan (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010).
In the course of the past decade, the need to include local priorities and practices in programmes in post-conflict contexts and fragile states has gained ever more prominence in the field of transitional justice, both as an analytic and as a political and ethical starting point for numerous projects and studies. The recurring preconceived assumption, that international law is universally applicable and will bring political liberalisation and deterrence of future violence, is not supported by research. This has instigated considerable debate about whether such norms resonate with ways in which affected local populations address human rights violations. In this course we will critically examine this encounter among international legal norms, mechanisms, national agendas, and local priorities and practices.