United States Law and Policy on Transitional Justice: Principles, Politics, and Pragmatics

Paperback | February 1, 2017

byZachary D. Kaufman

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In United States Law and Policy on Transitional Justice: Principles, Politics, and Pragmatics, Zachary D. Kaufman explores the U.S. government's support for, or opposition to, certain transitional justice institutions. By first presenting an overview of possible responses to atrocities (suchas war crimes tribunals) and then analyzing six historical case studies, Kaufman evaluates why and how the United States has pursued particular transitional justice options since World War II.This book challenges the "legalist" paradigm, which postulates that liberal states pursue war crimes tribunals because their decision-makers hold a principled commitment to the rule of law. Kaufman develops an alternative theory - "prudentialism" - which contends that any state (liberal orilliberal) may support bona fide war crimes tribunals. More generally, prudentialism proposes that states pursue transitional justice options, not out of strict adherence to certain principles, but as a result of a case-specific balancing of politics, pragmatics, and normative beliefs. Kaufman teststhese two competing theories through the U.S. experience in six contexts: Germany and Japan after World War II, the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, the 1990-1991 Iraqi offenses against Kuwaitis, the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and the 1994 Rwandan genocide.Kaufman demonstrates that political and pragmatic factors featured as or more prominently in U.S. transitional justice policy than did U.S. government officials' normative beliefs. Kaufman thus concludes that, at least for the United States, prudentialism is superior to legalism as an explanatorytheory in transitional justice policymaking.

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In United States Law and Policy on Transitional Justice: Principles, Politics, and Pragmatics, Zachary D. Kaufman explores the U.S. government's support for, or opposition to, certain transitional justice institutions. By first presenting an overview of possible responses to atrocities (suchas war crimes tribunals) and then analyzing s...

Zachary D. Kaufman J.D., Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a Visiting Fellow at both Yale Law School and Yale University's Genocide Studies Program. Previously, Dr. Kaufman taught in Yale University's Department of Political Science and George Washington University's E...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:February 1, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190655488

ISBN - 13:9780190655488

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"Dr. Zachary Kaufman's original research and first-rate analysis deepen our understanding of the role played by the United States in establishing international criminal tribunals. His book casts new light on the interplay of politics, pragmatism, and the declared support for internationalnorms in making the policy decisions to submit alleged perpetrators 'to the judgment of the law." --The Honorable Stephen J. Rapp, former Chief of Prosecutions, UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; former Chief Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone; former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice