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Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law - Mark J. Osiel

Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law

By: Mark J. Osiel (Editor)

Paperback Published: 1st September 1999
ISBN: 9780765806635
Number Of Pages: 327

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Trials of those responsible for large-scale state brutality have captured public imagination in several countries. Prosecutors and judges in such cases, says Osiel, rightly aim to shape collective memory. They can do so hi ways successful as public spectacle and consistent with liberal legality. In defending this interpretation, he examines the Nuremburg and Tokyo trials, the Eicnmann prosecution, and more recent trials in Argentina and France. Such trials can never summon up a "collective conscience" of moral principles shared by all, he argues. But they can nonetheless contribute to a little-noticed kind of social solidarity.

To this end, writes Osiel, we should pay closer attention to the way an experience of administrative massacre is framed within the conventions of competing theatrical genres. Defense counsel will tell the story as a tragedy, while prosecutors will present it as a morality play. The judicial task at such moments is to employ the law to recast the courtroom drama in terms of a "theater of ideas," which engages large questions of collective memory and even national identity. Osiel asserts that principles of liberal morality can be most effectively inculcated in a society traumatized by fratricide when proceedings are conducted in this fashion.

The approach Osiel advocates requires courts to confront questions of historical interpretation and moral pedagogy generally regarded as beyond their professional competence. It also raises objections that defendants' rights will be sacrificed, historical understanding distorted, and that the law cannot willfully influence collective memory, at least not when lawyers acknowledge this aim. Osiel responds to all these objections, and others. Lawyers, judges, sociologists, historians, and political theorists will find this a compelling contribution to debates on the meaning and consequences of genocide.

-Oseil (Univ. of Iowa, law) applies sociology theory in a reasoned argument for criminal prosecutions involving the judiciary in broad consideration of evidence about administrative massacre, evidence far beyond the facts required to establish individual guilt... Osiel's provocative, thoughtful work draws on a wide range of theory that challenges prevailing conceptions of the law's limits. His unique analysis should inform the debate over impunity and the relative merits of truth commissions versus criminal tribunals to expose gross human rights violations. His sophisticated approach should interest advanced readers, upper-division undergraduate and above.-

--H. Tolley, Choice

-[T]here has emerged a tremendous amount of literature examining various battlefields of memory. Osiel has added an important and revealing work to this field.-

--Edward T. Linenthal, Shofar

-A remarkable book. . . . Osiel's knowledge is immense, his grasp of theories of history and collective memory very sophisticated, his approach subtle and fair-minded, his style powerful and clear. This is the best book ever written about how states construct collective memories of large-scale state brutality, about how law can be used to promote understanding of historical injustices so as to teach valuable lessons to future generations, and finally about the perils and ironies inherent in such uses of law.-

--Robert W. Gordon, Johnston Professor of Law, Yale Law School

-Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law is a remarkable and remarkably important book. [It draws] out the legal implications of historical and contemporary responses to mass atrocity inflicted by a state on its population. Osiel challenges us to rethink what law is and can be-

--Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College

-Can criminal trials of the alleged perpetrators help heal societies wounded by terrible massacres and atrocities? In this splendid, clear-eyed inquiry, Mark Osiel cautiously answers in the affirmative. Well aware of how this process can go wrong, and how it has gone wrong in specific cases, the author nevertheless encourages those who seek justice and refuse to abandon the rule of law.-

--Michael R. Marrus, University of Toronto

-Mark Osiel reminds us that inquests and trials for past atrocities are acts of collective memory. Osiel writes with the precision of a lawyer, the insight of a sociologist, and above all the passion of a humanitarian.-

--David Luban, Morton and Sophie Macht Professor of Law, University of Maryland

-Drawing upon history, social theory, and legal philosophy, Osiel demonstrates how the political trial can help reconstruct a liberal community after devastating political violence. This is a timely and persuasive work based on a great range of recent cases.-

--Charles S. Maier, Director of the Center for European Studies, Harvard University

-[N]o one before Osiel has made such a successful attempt to compare several ground-breaking trials through which very different societies have tried to come to grips with the legacies of man-made tragedies.-

--Juan E. MEndez, Executive Director, Inter-American Institute of Human Rights "Oseil (Univ. of Iowa, law) applies sociology theory in a reasoned argument for criminal prosecutions involving the judiciary in broad consideration of evidence about administrative massacre, evidence far beyond the facts required to establish individual guilt... Osiel's provocative, thoughtful work draws on a wide range of theory that challenges prevailing conceptions of the law's limits. His unique analysis should inform the debate over impunity and the relative merits of truth commissions versus criminal tribunals to expose gross human rights violations. His sophisticated approach should interest advanced readers, upper-division undergraduate and above."

--H. Tolley, Choice

"[T]here has emerged a tremendous amount of literature examining various battlefields of memory. Osiel has added an important and revealing work to this field."

--Edward T. Linenthal, Shofar

"A remarkable book. . . . Osiel's knowledge is immense, his grasp of theories of history and collective memory very sophisticated, his approach subtle and fair-minded, his style powerful and clear. This is the best book ever written about how states construct collective memories of large-scale state brutality, about how law can be used to promote understanding of historical injustices so as to teach valuable lessons to future generations, and finally about the perils and ironies inherent in such uses of law."

--Robert W. Gordon, Johnston Professor of Law, Yale Law School

"Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law is a remarkable and remarkably important book. [It draws] out the legal implications of historical and contemporary responses to mass atrocity inflicted by a state on its population. Osiel challenges us to rethink what law is and can be"

--Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College

"Can criminal trials of the alleged perpetrators help heal societies wounded by terrible massacres and atrocities? In this splendid, clear-eyed inquiry, Mark Osiel cautiously answers in the affirmative. Well aware of how this process can go wrong, and how it has gone wrong in specific cases, the author nevertheless encourages those who seek justice and refuse to abandon the rule of law."

--Michael R. Marrus, University of Toronto

"Mark Osiel reminds us that inquests and trials for past atrocities are acts of collective memory. Osiel writes with the precision of a lawyer, the insight of a sociologist, and above all the passion of a humanitarian."

--David Luban, Morton and Sophie Macht Professor of Law, University of Maryland

"Drawing upon history, social theory, and legal philosophy, Osiel demonstrates how the political trial can help reconstruct a liberal community after devastating political violence. This is a timely and persuasive work based on a great range of recent cases."

--Charles S. Maier, Director of the Center for European Studies, Harvard University

"[N]o one before Osiel has made such a successful attempt to compare several ground-breaking trials through which very different societies have tried to come to grips with the legacies of man-made tragedies."

--Juan E. MEndez, Executive Director, Inter-American Institute of Human Rights "Oseil (Univ. of Iowa, law) applies sociology theory in a reasoned argument for criminal prosecutions involving the judiciary in broad consideration of evidence about administrative massacre, evidence far beyond the facts required to establish individual guilt... Osiel's provocative, thoughtful work draws on a wide range of theory that challenges prevailing conceptions of the law's limits. His unique analysis should inform the debate over impunity and the relative merits of truth commissions versus criminal tribunals to expose gross human rights violations. His sophisticated approach should interest advanced readers, upper-division undergraduate and above."

--H. Tolley, Choice

"[T]here has emerged a tremendous amount of literature examining various battlefields of memory. Osiel has added an important and revealing work to this field."

--Edward T. Linenthal, Shofar

"A remarkable book. . . . Osiel's knowledge is immense, his grasp of theories of history and collective memory very sophisticated, his approach subtle and fair-minded, his style powerful and clear. This is the best book ever written about how states construct collective memories of large-scale state brutality, about how law can be used to promote understanding of historical injustices so as to teach valuable lessons to future generations, and finally about the perils and ironies inherent in such uses of law."

--Robert W. Gordon, Johnston Professor of Law, Yale Law School

"Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law is a remarkable and remarkably important book. [It draws] out the legal implications of historical and contemporary responses to mass atrocity inflicted by a state on its population. Osiel challenges us to rethink what law is and can be"

--Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College

"Can criminal trials of the alleged perpetrators help heal societies wounded by terrible massacres and atrocities? In this splendid, clear-eyed inquiry, Mark Osiel cautiously answers in the affirmative. Well aware of how this process can go wrong, and how it has gone wrong in specific cases, the author nevertheless encourages those who seek justice and refuse to abandon the rule of law."

--Michael R. Marrus, University of Toronto

"Mark Osiel reminds us that inquests and trials for past atrocities are acts of collective memory. Osiel writes with the precision of a lawyer, the insight of a sociologist, and above all the passion of a humanitarian."

--David Luban, Morton and Sophie Macht Professor of Law, University of Maryland

"Drawing upon history, social theory, and legal philosophy, Osiel demonstrates how the political trial can help reconstruct a liberal community after devastating political violence. This is a timely and persuasive work based on a great range of recent cases."

--Charles S. Maier, Director of the Center for European Studies, Harvard University

"[N]o one before Osiel has made such a successful attempt to compare several ground-breaking trials through which very different societies have tried to come to grips with the legacies of man-made tragedies."

--Juan E. MEndez, Executive Director, Inter-American Institute of Human Rights "Oseil (Univ. of Iowa, law) applies sociology theory in a reasoned argument for criminal prosecutions involving the judiciary in broad consideration of evidence about administrative massacre, evidence far beyond the facts required to establish individual guilt... Osiel's provocative, thoughtful work draws on a wide range of theory that challenges prevailing conceptions of the law's limits. His unique analysis should inform the debate over impunity and the relative merits of truth commissions versus criminal tribunals to expose gross human rights violations. His sophisticated approach should interest advanced readers, upper-division undergraduate and above."

--H. Tolley, Choice

"Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law is a remarkable and remarkably important book. [It draws] out the legal implications of historical and contemporary responses to mass atrocity inflicted by a state on its population. Osiel challenges us to rethink what law is and can be"

--Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College

"Can criminal trials of the alleged perpetrators help heal societies wounded by terrible massacres and atrocities? In this splendid, clear-eyed inquiry, Mark Osiel cautiously answers in the affirmative. Well aware of how this process can go wrong, and how it has gone wrong in specific cases, the author nevertheless encourages those who seek justice and refuse to abandon the rule of law."

--Michael R. Marrus, University of Toronto

"Osiel's knowledge is immense, his grasp of theories of history and collective memory very sophisticated, his approach subtle and fair-minded, his style powerful and clear. This is the best book ever written about how states construct collective memories of large-scale state brutality, about how law can be used to promote understanding of historical injustices so as to teach valuable lessons to future generations, and finally about the perils and ironie "Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law is a remarkable and remarkably important book. [It draws] out the legal implications of historical and contemporary responses to mass atrocity inflicted by a state on its population. Osiel challenges us to rethink what law is and can be"

--Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College

"Can criminal trials of the alleged perpetrators help heal societies wounded by terrible massacres and atrocities? In this splendid, clear-eyed inquiry, Mark Osiel cautiously answers in the affirmative. Well aware of how this process can go wrong, and how it has gone wrong in specific cases, the author nevertheless encourages those who seek justice and refuse to abandon the rule of law."

--Michael R. Marrus, University of Toronto

"Osiel's knowledge is immense, his grasp of theories of history and collective memory very sophisticated, his approach subtle and fair-minded, his style powerful and clear. This is the best book ever written about how states construct collective memories of large-scale state brutality, about how law can be used to promote understanding of historical injustices so as to teach valuable lessons to future generations, and finally about the perils and ironies inherent in such uses of law."

--Robert W. Gordon, Johnston Professor of Law, Yale Law School

"Mark Osiel reminds us that inquests and trials for past atrocities are acts of collective memory. Osiel writes with the precision of a lawyer, the insight of a sociologist, and above all the passion of a humanitarian."

--David Luban, Morton and Sophie Macht Professor of Law, University of Maryland

"Drawing upon history, social theory, and legal philosophy, Osiel demonstrates how the political trial can help reconstruct a liberal community after devastating political violence. This is a timely and persuasive work based on a great range of recent cases."

--Charles S. Maier "Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law is a remarkable and remarkably important book. [It draws] out the legal implications of historical and contemporary responses to mass atrocity inflicted by a state on its population. Osiel challenges us to rethink what law is and can be"

--Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College

"Can criminal trials of the alleged perpetrators help heal societies wounded by terrible massacres and atrocities? In this splendid, clear-eyed inquiry, Mark Osiel cautiously answers in the affirmative. Well aware of how this process can go wrong, and how it has gone wrong in specific cases, the author nevertheless encourages those who seek justice and refuse to abandon the rule of law."

--Michael R. Marrus, University of Toronto

"Osiel's knowledge is immense, his grasp of theories of history and collective memory very sophisticated, his approach subtle and fair-minded, his style powerful and clear. This is the best book ever written about how states construct collective memories of large-scale state brutality, about how law can be used to promote understanding of historical injustices so as to teach valuable lessons to future generations, and finally about the perils and ironies inherent in such uses of law."

--Robert W. Gordon, Johnston Professor of Law, Yale Law School

"Mark Osiel reminds us that inquests and trials for past atrocities are acts of collective memory. Osiel writes with the precision of a lawyer, the insight of a sociologist, and above all the passion of a humanitarian."

--David Luban, Morton and Sophie Macht Professor of Law, University of Maryland

"Drawing upon history, social theory, and legal philosophy, Osiel demonstrates how the political trial can help reconstruct a liberal community after devastating political violence. This is a timely and persuasive work based on a great range of recent cases."

--Charles S. Maier, Director of the C

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
Introductionp. 13
Crime, Consensus, and Solidarityp. 24
Solidarity Through Civil Dissensusp. 36
Defendants' Rights, National Narrative, and Liberal Memoryp. 59
Losing Perspective, Distorting Historyp. 79
Legal Judgment As Precedent and Analogyp. 142
Breaking with the Past, Through Guilt and Repentancep. 166
Constructing Memory with Legal Blueprints?p. 209
Making Public Memory, Publiclyp. 240
Conclusionp. 293
Collective Memory in the Postwar German Armyp. 302
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780765806635
ISBN-10: 0765806630
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 327
Published: 1st September 1999
Publisher: TRANSACTION PUBL
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.01 x 15.42  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.5
Edition Type: New edition