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Monday, 24 September 2018

Between History, Justice and the Politics of Memory. Transitional Justice in a Comparative Perspective

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The Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies of the University of Wrocław and the International Research and Documentation Centre for War Crimes Trials (ICWC), Phillips-University, Marburg invite you to the opening of the conference “Transitional Justice in a Comparative Perspective” and to the roundtable discussion:


Between History, Justice and the Politics of Memory.

Transitional Justice in a Comparative Perspective.

Wednesday 17th October 2018, 6:00 pm

Willy Brandt Centre, room 13



Prof. Kerstin von Lingen (Vienna), 

Prof. Daniel Marc Segesser (Bern), 

Prof. Krzysztof Ruchniewicz (Wrocław)


Dr. Wolfgang Form (Marburg)


The term Transitional Justice, developed in the 1990s and used to describe the political changes in Latin America in the 1980s and the transformation process in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989, describes retrospective measures which could already be identified after the First World War, and were much more clearly visible after the Second World War: lustrations (vetting), criminal trials, restitutions, reparations, and memorial approaches. Over the past three decades they have unquestionably been developed into a broad research field, including law, contemporary history, social psychology, and social science. Transitional Justice deals with the judicial and central political mechanisms for overcoming a violent past, and include domestic and international  proceedings, the work of truth commissions, victim compensation programmes, the promotion of the rule of law, human rights and democracy, as well as the establishment of memorials and museums. In addition, the wide range of instruments, actors, and measures used to recover from a conflict or repressive rule goes far beyond the political and criminal law approaches and focus on the socio-cultural dimensions of Transitional Justice.


The discussion Between History, Justice and the Politics of Memory. Transitional Justice in a Comparative Perspective will focus on components, actors, approaches and the inherent limitations of Transitional Justice, on the interactions between history, justice, and the politics of memory, as well as on different models of Transitional Justice, related to socio-political changes and local specifics.  The discussion will be preceded by short lectures by invited experts.


The Discussion will be held in German and Polish with simultaneous translation. 


Wolfgang Form (Dr. phil., Dipl. Pol.) studied Political Science, Sociology, Social- and Economic History and Public Law in Marburg. He received his doctoral degree on political criminal justice during National Socialism in Germany at the University of Marburg. In 2003 he co-founded the International Research and Documentations Center for War Crimes Trials, Marburg (ICWC) and since then has been its research director. Since 1992 he has been a lecturer in political science, international criminology, peace and conflict studies, and gender studies at the University of Marburg, Kiel and Wolfenbüttel, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Austrian Research Center for Post-War Trials. His main fields of research include: political criminal and military justice; the history of international criminal law; human rights; peace and conflict studies; and the local and regional histories of National Socialism.


Kerstin von Lingen (PD Dr.) is a historian at the University of Heidelberg in the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", where she also founded a junior research group on war crimes trials in Asia. From 1999-2008 she served as researcher at the special research programme (SFB) "War Experience" of the University of Tübingen. Her main research areas are genocide and the history of violence, decolonization processes, national war experience, as well as research on slavery and forced labour. She has published several monographs, including her dissertation Kesselrings letzte Schlacht. War Crimes Policy: the Kesselring case (Paderborn 2004) and her habilitation Crimes against Humanity. Eine Ideengeschichte der Zivilisierung von Kriegsgewalt, 1864-1945 (Paderborn: Schöningh 2018).


Krzysztof Ruchniewicz (PhD), is a professor at the University of Wrocław (since 2009), director of the Willy Brandt Center for German and European Studies at the Univeristy, and Research Associate at the history department  of the University of Wrocław  He studied history and East-European history at the University of Wrocław, at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken, and at the Philipps University in Marburg. His publications include: PhD (2000): “Warsaw – Berlin – Bonn. Political relations in the years 1949-1958“ (Polish); Habilitation (2007): “Polish efforts to obtain German reparations in the years 1944/45-1975“ (Polish). His research interests include: The history of Germany and the German-Polish relations in 20th century; history of European integration, issues of historical culture and history politics; history of the Poles in Germany; Public History  and international textbook research.


Daniel Marc Segesser (PD Dr.) is a lecturer in modern and contemporary history, director of undergraduate studies, and adjunct to the head of department at the history department of the University of Bern. His research focus is on the global and transnational history of the First World War and on the history of law, with special emphasis on the debate amongst jurists on international macro-criminality in the years between 1872 and 1945. His publications include, inter alia: Recht statt Rache oder Rache durch Recht? Die Ahndung von Kriegsverbrechen in der internationalen fachwissenschaftlichen Debatte 1872-1945 (Paderborn: Schöningh 2010); Der Erste Weltkrieg in globaler Perspektive ( Wiesbaden, Marix Verlag, 2010) (with Uthe Schüren and Tomas Späth, eds.); and Globalized Antiquity. Uses and Perceptions of the Past in South Asia, Mesoamerica, and Europe (Berlin: Reimer 2015).


Coordination: Dominika Uczkiewicz (Wrocław), Dr. Wolfgang Form (Marburg)


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Read 5063 times Last modified on Tuesday, 02 October 2018 12:35