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The social life of policy reports: Reporting as a tool in the transitional justice battlefield in Rwanda

Jamar, Astrid (2017). The social life of policy reports: Reporting as a tool in the transitional justice battlefield in Rwanda. Revue International des Etudes du Développement, 4(232) 165 - 194.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.3917/ried.232.0165
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Abstract

Adopting a Latourian approach, this article examines the social role played by policy reports, which are produced and used in the everyday implementation of transitional justice, using the Gacaca Courts in Rwanda as a case study. As glossy end products, transitional justice reports create the image of more efficient processes unaffected by difficult politics. The article traces the journey of Gacaca policy reports and the shift from their envisioned role to their actual performed functions: considered as technical safeguards, reports become central tools in the transitional justice battlefield - almost as if reports were used as weapons while arguing about the past and the nature of the transition. Since transitional justice processes mostly culminate in the production of reports which presume to clarify and make accountable complex legacies of violence, such an analysis contributes significantly to addressing the construction of transitional justice narratives critically. Given the ubiquity of reports in aid-dependent policy implementation, this article draws attention to often glossed-over aspects of complex politics and to the contentious role played by international aid organisations. By doing so, the paper encourages discussions about the materiality of international aid and its social consequences.

Item Type: Journal Item
Keywords: transitional justice praxis, policy reports, politics of aid, NGOs, donors, Rwanda, Latour
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Development
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 67159
Depositing User: Astrid Jamar
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 15:31
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2020 17:16
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/67159
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