course
ANSO086 | Spring | 6 ECTS

Dealing with the Past and Transitional Justice: Comparative Perspectives

The seminar aims at investigating through anthropological perspectives the aftermath of civil wars, genocides and dictatorships. How the 'nation' can be rebuilt? What is the role of civil societies and State authorities in the process at the national and local levels? How the models of State-building and reconciliation 'exported' by international donors help or hinder the transitions? Are they new instruments of a neoliberal governmentality in the post-colonial world? Actually, the instruments and practices of what has come to be known 'Dealing with the Past' (DWP) and 'Transitional Justice' (TJ) have witnessed in a recent past an important surge of South-South cooperation with the role of the UN as a 'broker'. However, after the experiences in Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s, and in South Africa in the early 1990s, the legalistic models of TJ for DWP have become more and more part of the tools used by international donors for promoting a global 'neoliberal order'. The approach will be geographically and thematically comparative: Africa (Rwanda), Asia (Cambodia), and Latin America (Chili and Argentina); two contexts of past dictatorships and two cases of genocides. Finally, while a consistent bulk of studies has been produced by jurists, political scientists, psychologists, and historians, the more recent critical contributions of anthropologists have helped in shedding light on how the 'social pact' can be renegotiated in the aftermath of traumatic events.