CAAS 324 - Dealing with the Past and Doing Justice in Africa: South Africa, Rwanda, Sierra Leone
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Advisory Prerequisites:
CAAS 111 and CAAS 200, prior coursework in comparative politics, international relations, or permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The international law of individual accountability for human rights atrocities, which emerged after World War II, has developed rapidly since the 1990s. A variety of mechanisms have been used to bring justice for atrocities committed by governments and others in a position of power against those under their control. These mechanisms include investigatory commissions such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; United Nation’s ad hoc tribunals for trying perpetrators of human rights atrocities such as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); and a hybrid national-international court such as the special court for prosecuting atrocities in Sierra Leone. This course will focus on three transitional societies in Africa emerging from national nightmares and confronting their past: South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Considering the political realities in each country, this course will explore the opportunities and limitations of the different forums, and the dilemmas they present for enforcement, for sovereignty, and for justice. The course will finally look at the structure and functions of the controversial International Criminal Court, and its potential to be an instrument for ensuring global accountability for the most serious crimes. Readings will be supplemented with films documenting South Africa’s quest for restorative justice; the uncovering of the truth; historical footage of Rwanda as a case study of the human rights challenge of the 21st century; and the story of a ten-year old boy who was forced to act as a young fighter with rebel forces in the jungles of Sierra Leone.

Crs Requirements: This class assumes that students have some prior coursework in comparative politics, African studies, international relations and/or public policy, or by consent of the instructor. Along with attendance, which is mandatory, and active participation, which is expected, the final grade is determined by two midterm exams, a research paper (5-7 pages in length), and a final exam.

Intended Audience: This is an advanced seminar designed for students with prior coursework in African Studies, comparative politics and international relations.

Class Format: Seminar-style and discussion based.

CAAS 324 - Dealing with the Past and Doing Justice in Africa: South Africa, Rwanda, Sierra Leone
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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