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International Order and Justice

After Mass Crime

"Mass crime" is a term intended to embrace widespread killings and related atrocities such as mutilation, rapes, forceful deportation, destruction of property, frequently, but not always, perpetrated by state actors. This project examines the impact of mass crimes on the rebuilding of social, political and economic relations in post-conflict situations.

The study draws on historical and more recent cases, including Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Burundi, and Guatemala. It further examines the impact on individuals and society at large, and the organizations involved in providing assistance to victims in the post-conflict phase. While outside actors have a role to play, the hardest work must be done by those picking up the pieces of a community that has turned to itself.

Thereby, a key question is how to identify and build on capacities for peace that exist within the post-conflict society. The crucial point is that post-conflict societies are frequently seen as a passive environment or as a political vacuum, because the war is transformative, as well as destructive, it ignores the very foundation of any lasting post-conflict solution.

This project brought together political scientists, sociologists, historians, philosophers, anthropologists, lawyers and psychiatrists in an effort to offer a trans-disciplinary examination of how mass crime is, and should be, addressed in peacebuilding.


Page last modified 2019.04.16.

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