Waging War and Making Peace: Reparations and Human Rights

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Humans are good at making war—and much less successful at making peace. Genocide, torture, slavery, and other crimes against humanity are gross violations of human rights that are frequently perpetrated and legitimized in the name of nationalism, militarism, and economic development. This book tackles the question of how to make peace by taking a critical look at the primary political mechanism used to "repair" the many injuries suffered in war. With an explicit focus on reparations and human rights, it examines the broad array of abuses being perpetrated in the modern era, from genocide to loss of livelihood. Based on the experiences of anthropologists and others who document abuses and serve as expert witnesses, case studies from around the world offer insight into reparations proceedings; the ethical struggles associated with attempts to secure reparations; the professional and personal risks to researchers, victims, and human rights advocates; and how to come to terms with the political compromises of reparations in the face of the human need for justice. Waging War, Making Peace promises to be a major contribution to public policy, political science, international relations, and human rights and peace research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Well conceived and brilliantly executed. In recent years, anthropologists have produced influential studies of group violence and war, and with this volume, the anthropology of post-conflict peace-making comes of age. Waging War, Making Peace includes thoughtful analyses of the social process of reparations, as well as richly detailed accounts of what repair and redress might mean in a number of societies around the world." - Richard A. Wilson, Director, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut

"Waging War, Making Peace brilliantly exposes the complexities of reparation, restitution, and post-conflict remedies. It also takes an unflinching look at the daunting legal, political, economic, and cultural obstacles standing in the way of justice for those who have suffered from human rights abuses and war crimes committed by nation-states, corporations, and other non-state actors. Drawing upon research conducted in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, the contributors to this book break new ground by using ethnography to describe the herculean efforts of those who pursue long-term peace by working for justice, and the creative roles played by anthropologists contributing to their labor. As international courts, tribunals, and truth commissions expand their mission, this book stands as an indispensable guidebook for those seeking a lucid understanding of what is at stake." - Roberto J. Gonzalez, author of Anthropologists in the Public Sphere: Speaking out on War, Peace and American Power, and American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain

"This book offers profound and compelling evidence of the enduring international need for reparations of past wrongs and the unique role anthropologists can play in keeping community needs and desires at the forefront of reparations debates. This is a must read for anyone interested in transitional justice." — Victoria Sanford, Lehman College & The Graduate Center, CUNY; author of Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala

"No one knows more about 21st century issues of war, human rights, and peace than Barbara Rose Johnston and Susan Slyomivics. This is scholarship you can trust-gripping, theoretically rich, socially responsible. Fourteen leading scholars illuminate the dark corners of global insecurity and hone an understanding of peace that includes the tantalizing promise that the breathe of life will return in the aftermath of horror. Waging War, Making Peace explores this emergent promise: It examines the constructs and processes used to \repair\" the consequences of cataclysmic violence. With an anthropological focus on the dynamic tension between the political compromises that produce peace plans and the on-the-ground struggle for social justice, this book is essential reading for political actors, students, scholars, and citizens." - Carolyn Nordstrom, Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame; author of Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in the Contemporary World

"The [book] is an interdisciplinary, not strictly anthropological reader. The case studies are all quite fascinating, and the book as a whole is well worth the read."  -Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Journal of Genocide Research

"Waging War, Making Peace is more than a well-organized, thoughtful collection of essays focused on various reparation campaigns: Barbara Rose Johnston's opening essay provides an anthropological frame to issues of reparations, and the concluding chapter by Alison Dundes Renteln provides a synthetic human rights framework that significantly adds to our understanding of these issues. This important work establishes that (as Johnston writes) "making the case for reparations requires exposing the truth, producing evidence of responsibility, producing evidence of injury, damage, and loss, a rights-protective space or forum to present claims and a viable judiciary to make a determination, and the political will and economic means to ensure that remedial agreements are actually implemented." This volume will be a welcome addition to course on social justice, dispute resolution, applied anthropology, and peace studies. These essays draw on anthropological methods and theories to explore efforts to seek remedies for past wrongs. Because reparations wrestle with issues of restorative justice, it is a vital topic for our discipline." -David H. Price, Journal of Anthropological Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598743449
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Rose Johnston is Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Political Ecology and winner of the Lourdes Arizpe Award, presented by the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology & Environment Section, for her outstanding contributions in the application of anthropology to environmental issues and discourse. Among her recent publications are Disappearing Peoples: Indigenous Groups and Ethnic Minorities in South and Central Asia (ed., with Barbara Brower, 2007); Half Lives & Half Truths: Confronting the Radioactive Legacies of the Cold War (ed., 2007), Consequential Damages of Nuclear War: The Rongelap Report (with Holly Barker, 2008), and Waging War, Making Peace: Reparations and Human Rights (ed., with Susan Slyomovics, 2008). Susan Slyomovics is Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles and Director of UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies. Among her many important book publications is The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village (1998), which won the 1999 Albert Hourani Book Award given by the Middle East Studies Association and the 1999 Chicago Folklore Prize, and The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco (2005).

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