Judging War, Judging History

In a country or community fractured by war and mass violence, who is to determine « justice » and how it should be achieved? Truth commissions, international courts, and financial restitution are some of the various solutions that have been used in recent years. However, these broad efforts at transitional justice may themselves backfire, and sometimes lead to further injustice. Given its own limitations and battered by political pressure from all sides, transitional justice is an imperfect solution. Yet as Pierre Hazan contends in his new book, it constitutes our best hope for liberation from a cycle of violence begetting vengeance and more violence.

Judging War, Judging History takes a hard look at the growing use and influence of truth and reconciliation commissions and the increasing importance of transitional justice in contemporary conflict resolution. From the Nuremberg Trials to current-day conflicts in South Africa, Morocco, and Uganda, Pierre Hazan reveals the extent to which the approaches intended to commemorate events and mend societies after acts of war and violence ultimately intensify the huge task of dealing with victims’ claims for recognition. This compelling book uncovers the tensions created by these new reconciliation policies and shows how changing ideas about and approaches to justice influence not only our understanding of the past, but also our contemporary social and political choices.

Une traduction de Juger la Guerre, Juger l’Histoire