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Grant number like: RZ-51259-10

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University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)
David J. Cohen (Project Director: November 2009 to December 2014)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

$120,000 (approved)
$120,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2010 – 6/30/2014

The End of Impunity? Crimes Against Humanity and International Justice in the 21st Century

An assessment of the philosophical assumptions and success of war crimes tribunals. (24 months)

The End of Impunity? will evaluate the international community's efforts to end impunity for massive state-sponsored crimes. The book will address a broad range of issues of concern to humanists, scholars in a variety of other disciplines, and the general public. We examine critically a question posed by Hannah Arendt over 40 years ago: Can the logic of law make sense of the logic of atrocity? The book will test the largely Western assumption that confronting impunity through criminal trials leads to the "healing" of fractured individuals and societies. Using a wide variety of primary sources, interviews, and other sources, we attempt to answer the following questions: What is the nature of the justice dispensed by international tribunals that are often geographically remote from the countries of the victims and limited to a very small number of perpetrators? Can "symbolic" justice alone justify the allocation of very significant resources to these international courts?