Shattered Voices Language, Violence, and the Work of Truth Commissions

ISBN-10: 081221949X
ISBN-13: 9780812219494
Edition: 2004
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Following periods of mass atrocity and oppression, states are faced with a question of critical importance in the transition to democracy: how to offer redress to victims of the old regime without perpetuating cycles of revenge. Traditionally,  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 2/15/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.660
Language: English

Following periods of mass atrocity and oppression, states are faced with a question of critical importance in the transition to democracy: how to offer redress to victims of the old regime without perpetuating cycles of revenge. Traditionally, balance has been restored through arrests, trials, and punishment, but in the last three decades, more than twenty countries have opted to have a truth commission investigate the crimes of the prior regime and publish a report about the investigation, often incorporating accounts from victims. Although many praise the work of truth commissions for empowering and healing through words rather than violence, some condemn the practice as a poor substitute for traditional justice, achieved through trials and punishment. There has been until now little analysis of the unarticulated claim that underlies the truth commissions' very existence: that language--in this case narrative stories--can substitute for violence. Acknowledging revenge as a real and deep human need, Shattered Voices explores the benefits and problems inherent when a fragile country seeks to heal its victims without risking its own future.

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