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Transnational seminar lecture paperPDF


Title:Memory and Politics: Three Theories of Justice in Regime Transitions
Author(s):Allen, Jonathan
Subject(s):War crimes
Genocide -- Moral and ethical aspects
Human Rights
Regime transition
Abstract:In the context of regime transitions, the central challenge confronting new democracies concerns the dilemma of how to deal with injustices and atrocities committed by authoritarian or totalitarian predecessors or by agents of a liberation struggle, a dilemma usually faced in the context of societal division and alienation from state institutions, especially the institutions of justice. There are in principle at least seven different options open to new democracies: amnesia or inaction; pardons; full amnesty; prosecution and trials (either domestic or international); lustration (disqualifying collaborators from public office); publicity (the opening of the Stasi files in Germany is the key example here); conditional amnesty or truth commissions. The truth commission option has been identified by many as an especially appropriate response to the problems posed by political transitions, and I shall concentrate on this here, though this by no means precludes reflection on prosecution or full amnesty. I also propose to devote most of my attention to claims made about the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as this has been identified as a model of sorts for subsequent attempts to deal with transitions.
Issue Date:2004-11-05
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Sponsor:Title VI National Resource Center Grant (P015A030066)
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-01-25

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