Judging State-Sponsored Violence, Imagining Political Change by Bronwyn LeebawJudging State-Sponsored Violence, Imagining Political Change by Bronwyn Leebaw

Judging State-Sponsored Violence, Imagining Political Change

byBronwyn Leebaw

Paperback | April 18, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info

$33.76 online 
$34.95 list price
Earn 169 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


How should state-sponsored atrocities be judged and remembered? This controversial question animates contemporary debates on transitional justice and reconciliation. This book reconsiders the legacies of two institutions that transformed the theory and practice of transitional justice. Whereas the Nuremberg Trials exemplify the promise of legalism and international criminal justice, South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission promoted restorative justice and truth commissions. Bronwyn Leebaw argues that the two frameworks share a common problem: Both rely on criminal justice strategies to investigate experiences of individual victims and perpetrators, which undermines their critical role as responses to systematic atrocities. Drawing on the work of influential transitional justice institutions and thinkers such as Judith Shklar, Hannah Arendt, José Zalaquett, and Desmond Tutu, Leebaw offers a new approach to thinking about the critical role of transitional justice - one that emphasizes the importance of political judgment and investigations that examine complicity in, and resistance to, systematic atrocities.
Title:Judging State-Sponsored Violence, Imagining Political ChangeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:222 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.59 inPublished:April 18, 2011Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521169771

ISBN - 13:9780521169776


Table of Contents

1. Introduction: transitional justice and the 'gray zone'; 2. Human rights legalism and the legacy of Nuremberg; 3. A different kind of justice: South Africa's alternative to legalism; 4. Political judgment and transitional justice: actors and spectators; 5. Rethinking restorative justice; 6. Remembering resistance; 7. Conclusion: the shadows of the past.

Editorial Reviews

"Bronwyn Leebaw has written a superb book on a subject of fundamental importance: how we address state-sponsored violence. Her argument, built around an especially illuminating study and critique of the Nuremberg Trials and the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa, shows the achievements and limits of their approaches, and points to alternative strategies. Leebaw takes both institutions and their norms seriously, and her book masterfully weaves the two together to produce an account that is deeply informed by the realities of institutional settings and by the norms of justice that are bound up with them. This is a truly exceptional study!" - J. William Booth Department of Political Science Vanderbilt University