Over the past decades, the practise of and research on transitional justice have expanded to preserving memory in the form of memorials.
Memorials often employ a common architectural language and a set of political and ethical claims dictate the effect memory can or should have after large-scale violence: providing public sites of commemoration and mourning, putting past wrongs right, holding perpetrators accountable, vindicating the dignity of victims-survivors and contributing to reconciliation.
Yet what are the general roles of memorials in transitions to justice? Who uses or opposes memorials, and to which ends? How – and what – do memorials communicate both explicitly and implicitly to the public? What is their architectural language? Questions such as these have long been pursued within the growing field of memory studies and provide valuable insights for researchers in transitional justice who mostly focus on the role of memorials as a mechanism to further some form of justice after the experience of violence.
The goal of this volume is therefore to situate the analysis of transitional justice within memory studies’ broader critical understanding of the socio-political, aesthetic and ethical concerns underlying these memorial projects. It combines the two by providing a transnational selection of single case-studies that emphasise the global dimension of memory culture while couching it in current debates in the field of transitional justice.
About the book
‘The collection has been well-selected to bring together a variety of perspectives on memorialisation practices and outcomes. [The] content makes a valuable and overdue contribution, bringing together two fields that have developed in parallel and with a lot to contribute to one another.’
Alison Atkinson-‐Phillips in Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory (2014).
‘Memorials in Times of Transition represents an important and timely contribution to an emerging field of research […]
This important volume is a significant step towards understanding the drive towards memorialization in diverse post-conflict contexts, the political impact of memorials and how memorialization intersects with other efforts towards coming to terms with difficult pasts.’
Sara Jones in Testimony (2015)
Countries emerging from long periods of authoritarian rule must often confront a legacy of gross human rights abuses perpetrated over many years. During the past two decades, these age-old issues have been termed “problems of transitional justice”, both by academics and policy makers around the world. Given the frequency with which these problems arise, as well as the complexity of the issues involved, it is striking that no book series has taken the issue of transitional justice as its point of focus.
The Series on Transitional Justice offers a platform for high-quality research within the rapidly growing field of transitional justice. This research is, of necessity, inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing from disciplines such as law, political science, history, sociology, criminology, anthropology and psychology, as well as from various specialised fields of study such as human rights, victimology and peace studies. It is furthermore international in outlook, drawing on the knowledge and experience of academics and other specialists in many different regions of the world.
The series is aimed at a variety of audiences who are either working or interested in fields such as crime and justice; human rights; humanitarian law and human security; conflict resolution and peace building. These audiences may include academics, researchers, students, policy makers, practitioners, non-governmental organisations and the media.
- Prof. S. Parmentier (University of Leuven, Belgium)
- Prof. Elmar Weitekamp (University of Tübingen, Germany)
- Prof. Jeremy Sarkin (University of South Africa) and
- Mina Rauschenbach (Université de Lausanne and University of Leuven) (Associate editor)
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