The issue of justice for mass atrocity crimes is one of the most divisive topics in post-conflict societies. Yet, inter-group relations can only be repaired by discussing the war crimes legacy. How can these difficult conversations be had?
The panel addresses communicative strategies that can facilitate cooperation instead of communication breakdown and obstacles to accepting the views of others. The event, organised by the European Research Council (ERC)-funded project ‘Justice Interactions and Peacebulding (JUSTINT)’, features JUSTINT’s findings in the context of a broader debate on the topic.
Meet the speakers and chair
Paul Drew is a Professor in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, University of York, UK. He has applied conversation analysis in pioneering research into institutional interactions, notably criminal court and in medical settings. He has authored and co-authored a number of seminal books, including Talk at Work (1992) and Order in Court (1979), and co-edited many others, including Contemporary Studies in Conversation Analysis (2013) and Requesting in Social Interaction (2014). His most recent projects include a collaboration with a group at Johns Hopkins University Medical School on the language used by doctors in completing patients’ medical records, a study of the telephone delivery of the UK’s NHS Talking Therapy, and ongoing research into decision making in conversations between doctors and parents in neonatal critical care. He has lectured and led workshops in CA internationally. He has held visiting positions in China (OUC), Denmark (SDU), Finland (Helsinki), Sweden (Lund), and the US (UCLA). He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Helsinki in 2007.
Ger Duijzings is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Regensburg. He started as a free-lance journalist and continued as an academic, with various positions in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany, always in interdisciplinary work environments, including the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam, and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ICTY in the Hague. At the NIOD, he was a member of the Srebrenica Research Team (2002-2007), carrying out an official inquiry into the fall of the UN Safe Area of Srebrenica, and the massacre of 8000 Muslim men in July 1995, which resulted in the co-authored report Srebrenica, A ’Safe’ Area. He is the author of Religion and Politics of Identity in Kosovo (2001), and co-editor of The New Bosnian Mosaic: Identities, Memories and Moral Claims in a Post-War Society (2007), Engaging with Historical Traumas: Experiential Learning and Pedagogies of Resilience (2021) and If Cars Could Walk: Postsocialist Streets in Transformation (2023), among others. He has also entered into collaborations with artists, being particularly interested in documentary cinema, sound, visual and performance art.
Inger Skjelsbaek is Professor and Director of the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. She is also Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Her research has focused on gender, peace and conflict with a special focus on conflict related sexual violence in the wars in the Balkans of the 1990s. She is the author of The Political Psychology of War Rape (2012) and co-editor of Gender, Peace and Conflict (2001). Her background is in political psychology. She has been a Fulbright Fellow at the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEES) and guest research at the Human Rights Center (HRC) both at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as Visiting Fellow at the Women, Peace and Security Centre, LSE. She is currently PI for an ERC Consolidator Grant project entitled European Children Born of War (EuroWARCHILD) from 2021-2026.
Denisa Kostovicova is Associate Professor of Global Politics at the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a scholar of conflict and peace processes with a particular interest in post-conflict reconstruction and transitional justice. She is the author of Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk about War Crimes (2023) and Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (2005). Dr Kostovicova co-edited 8 volumes, including Rethinking Reconciliation and Transitional Justice After Conflict (2018). Her research has been funded by a number of prestigious grants, including those by the Leverhulme Trust, MacArthur Foundation and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), among others. Her academic research has been published widely in world-leading scholarly journals, such as International Studies Quarterly, Security Dialogue and Review of International Studies. Dr Kostovicova currently directs a major research programme funded by the European Research Council (ERC), titled ‘Justice Interactions and Peace-building (JUSTINT).’ She has authored a number of policy papers on issues concerning Western Balkans’ European integration, post-conflict recovery and regional security. Her academic research and policy contributions have informed policy making at the EU, UN, and in the UK.
More about this event
The JUSTINT project provides a novel way of analysing how post-conflict justice practices advance or hinder peace-building by studying an interactive and dynamic aspect of discourse.
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