Pub. Date:
New York University Press
Violent Accounts: Understanding the Psychology of Perpetrators through South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Violent Accounts: Understanding the Psychology of Perpetrators through South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission

by Robert N. Kraft
Current price is , Original price is $45.0. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


Violent Accounts presents a compelling study of how ordinary people commit extraordinary acts of violence and how perpetrators and victims manage in the aftermath. Grounded in extensive, qualitative analysis of perpetrator testimony, the volume reveals the individual experiences of perpetrators as well as general patterns of influence that lead to collective violence.

Drawing on public testimony from the amnesty hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the book interweaves hundreds of hours of testimony from seventy-four violent perpetrators in apartheid South Africa, including twelve major cases that involved direct interactions between victims and perpetrators. The analysis of perpetrator testimony covers all tiers on the hierarchy of organized violence, from executives who translated political doctrine into general strategies, to managers who translated these general strategies into specific plans, to the staff—the foot soldiers—who carried out the destructive plans of these managers.

Vivid and accessible, Violent Accounts is a work of innovative scholarship that transcends the particulars of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to reveal broader themes and unexpected insights about perpetrators of collective violence, the confrontations between victims and perpetrators in the aftermath of this violence, the reality of multiple truths, the complexities of reconciliation, and lessons of restorative justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479821600
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 03/07/2014
Series: Qualitative Studies in Psychology Series , #9
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Robert N. Kraft is Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Otterbein University (Westerville, OH). He is the author of Memory Perceived: Recalling the Holocaust.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Crimes of Allegiance
1. Regarding Perpetrators: Studying Collective Violence
2. Apartheid and Amnesty: Managing a History of Sustained Oppression
3. Understanding Crimes of Allegiance: Patterns of Violent Influence
4. Uncovering Truth: Confronting Perpetrators and Victims
5. Reconciling Testimony: A Work in Progress
6. Beyond the TRC: Negotiating the Aftermath of Collective Violence
Conclusions: Learning from the Violence of Others
About the Author

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews