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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Politics of Acknowledgement

Truth Commissions in Uganda and Haiti

Human rights violations leave deep scars on people, societies, and nations. Rights groups argue that resolving past violence is necessary for a peaceful future. But how can nations ensure that instruments of transitional justice are the best path to reconciliation? This book develops a theoretical framework – a framework of acknowledgement – to evaluate truth commissions. Analysis of the difficulties encountered and the ultimate failure of truth commissions in Uganda and Haiti reveals that acknowledgement of past violence – by both victims and perpetrators – must come before goals such as forgiveness and social cohesion if reconciliation is to be achieved.

208 pages

Law and Society


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

Part 1: Theoretical Model

2 The Politics of Acknowledgement

3 Truth Commissions

4 The Truth Commissions of Uganda and Haiti

Part 2: Analysis: Parallels between the Ugandan and Haitian Cases

5 Political Will

6 Institutional Constraints

7 Whither Acknowledgement?

8 Social Underpinnings

9 Acknowledgement: A New Lens for Evaluation

Appendices

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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