SOAS University of London

Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice

Performances of Injustice: The politics of truth, justice and reconciliation in Kenya

Prof. Gabrielle Lynch (University of Warwick)

Date: 31 January 2019Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 31 January 2019Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116

Type of Event: Book Launch

Following unprecedented violence in 2007/8, Kenya introduced two classic transitional justice mechanisms: a truth commission and international criminal proceedings. Both are widely believed to have failed, but why? And what do their performances say about contemporary Kenya; the ways in which violent pasts persist; and the shortcomings of transitional justice? Using the lens of performance, Gabrielle Lynch's book Performances of Injustice: The politics of truth, justice and reconciliation in Kenya (Cambridge University Press) analyses how transitional justice efforts are incapable of dealing with the ways in which unjust and violent pasts actually persist, and how they can actually reinforce, or enact further, injustice. Justice should instead be regarded as an ongoing political struggle that requires substantive socio-economic and political change that transitional justice mechanisms can theoretically recommend, and which they can sometimes help to initiate and inform, but which they cannot implement or create, and can sometimes unintentionally help to reinforce. 

Gabrielle Lynch is a Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Warwick. She is the author of over 30 articles and book chapters and her first book – I say to you: Ethnic politics and the Kalenjin of Kenya– was published by the Chicago University Press in 2011. 

This event is open to the public, and no registration is required.

Organiser: Dr. Phil Clark

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