Societies Emerging from Conflict: The Aftermath of Atrocity
Does the proliferation of post-atrocity remedies over the past 25-plus years—the human rights movement, reparations and other justice schemes, and memorials and counter-memorials—suggest promising alternatives to retributive criminal proceedings? Or does it mean that very little so far is working? This collection of essays, written by scholars with ties to Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, and the United States, argues that a new post-atrocity framework is taking root. In search for a more reliably favorable post-atrocity succession, the volume’s contributors weigh the merits of practices circumventing the state, whose anemic performance has failed to manage large-scale violence and restore confidence in social stability and security. This ascendant phase includes citizen activism, historical dialogues, and witnesses’ accounts. Into the breach where state actors prevailed, citizens “from below” are seizing opportunities for independent intervention. While all transitional frameworks are vulnerable, this volume provides a thoughtful, requisite evaluation of citizen activism for scholars, non-governmental organization practitioners, government and think-tank policymakers, and teachers at all levels.
Dennis B. Klein is professor of history, director of the Jewish Studies program, and director of the Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at Kean University, USA. He is the author of Jewish Origins of the Psychoanalytic Movement (1985) and Survivor Transitional Narratives of Nazi-Era Destruction: The Second Liberation (2017). He edited Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto (1997) and The Genocidal Mind (2005). He is founding Editor in Chief of Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies and founding director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Braun Center for Holocaust Studies. His current work on post-atrocity testimonies and forgiveness theory is anthologized in Memory, Narrative, and Forgiveness and Jean Améry and the Philosophy of Torture. He also guest-edited a special issue of Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques on witnesses’ accounts of violence and violations.
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