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Memory and Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda

  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107678095

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About the Authors
  • Following times of great conflict and tragedy, many countries implement programs and policies of transitional justice, none more extensive than in post-genocide Rwanda. Placing Rwanda's transitional justice initiatives in their historical and political context, this book examines the project undertaken by the post-genocide government to shape the collective memory of the Rwandan population, both through political and judicial reforms but also in public commemorations and memorials. Drawing on over two decades of field research in Rwanda, Longman uses surveys and comparative local case studies to explore Rwanda's response both at a governmental and local level. He argues that despite good intentions and important innovations, Rwanda's authoritarian political context has hindered the ability of transnational justice to bring the radical social and political transformations that its advocates hoped. Moreover, it continues to heighten the political and economic inequalities that underline ethnic divisions and are an important ongoing barrier to reconciliation.

    • An accessible introduction to the politics of post-genocide Rwanda, using personal experience to appeal to both the academic and the general reader
    • Studies the Rwanda transitional justice program from its initiation to the modern day, providing a full examination of its development over time
    • The first book to look at all of Rwanda's transitional justice programs as a whole and place them in the political context of the time
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Timothy Longman is one of the few contemporary scholars to have conducted research in Rwanda before and after the genocide in 1994. In this accessible and much-needed book, Longman documents how post-genocide ruling elites have instrumentalized memory and justice in the aftermath of genocide, distorting events, silencing alternative accounts, and crafting a historical narrative that serves the interests of those in power. Longman complements his national-level analysis with powerful and nuanced community-based and individual accounts of life since the genocide. The book is a sobering, well-informed account that raises profound questions about the post-genocide model in Rwanda. Anyone interested in understanding contemporary Rwanda and politics after genocide more generally would do well to read this book.' Scott Straus, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    'Memory and Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda is a compelling and provocative critique of the Rwandan Patriotic Front's claim that it has used trials, re-education camps, curricular reform, and public memorials and commemorations solely to reunify a deeply divided nation. If you want to understand the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide without putting on rose-tinted glasses - and even if you don't - you should read this book.' Eric Stover, University of California, Berkeley

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107678095
    • length: 386 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 153 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 1 map 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the meaning of Murambi
    Part I. Creating What You Are Afraid Of: The Rwandan Patriotic Front's Transitional Justice Program:
    2. Rewriting history in post-genocide Rwanda
    3. Symbolic struggles
    4. Justice as memory
    5. From violent repression to political domination: transitional justice, political reform and development
    Part II. Popular Narratives:
    6. Political reform in three Rwandan communities
    7. Popular narratives of memory and history
    8. Politics by other means: popular opinion about 'transitional justice'
    9. Conclusion: 'we pretend to live together': assessing the impact of transitional justice mechanisms in Rwanda.

  • Author

    Timothy Longman, Boston University
    Timothy Longman is Director of the African Studies Center and Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Boston University. He has previously held teaching and research positions at Vassar College, New York, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the National University of Rwanda. He has conducted over twenty years of research in Rwanda and is the author of Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda (Cambridge, 2010).

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