Noa Vaisman has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology this summer and received an AUFF Starting Grant this fall for the project “What Comes After Justice? The aftermath of legal accountability in cases of crimes against humanity in Argentina, a cross-generational investigation”
What is justice?
Noa Vaisman’s AUFF-funded project explores the aesthetic, affective and relational dimensions of justice in Argentina where mass prosecution of perpetrators of human rights violations has been takeing place for the past decade.
The project seeks to answer three broad questions: (a) What are victims’ experiences and understandings of justice before, during and after the trials? (b) How do judges sitting in these trials of crimes against humanity conceptualize justice, and how do their understandings of justice as well as of victims and perpetrators change over time? (c) How do notions of justice, truth and memory change within Argentine society and particularly within its middle classes once justice has been meted out?
Changing notions of justice
Since the return to democratic rule in Argentina, the process of legal accountability has been characterized by ebbs and flows. The most recent upsurge has led to mega trials that have taken place over a number of years and involve hundreds of surviving victims, family members of the disappeared and of course, the perpetrators of the crimes and their supporters. These trials have been recognized worldwide as path-breaking marking a new model for transitional and post-transitional justice. But this process of judicial accountability is now being undermined from above. The recently elected government (Dec. 2015) is cutting down financial support for both preliminary investigations and trials. It further publically questions the legitimacy of the courts and the purpose of the trials more broadly. In media outlets, strong voices against judicial accountability are being heard, and there seems to be a shift in the courts’ treatment of cases. In this context it becomes urgent to ask: How and in what ways are notions of justice changing? What do surviving victims and their families make of the change in official discourse? And how do judges respond to these political and social shifts?
The project “What Comes After Justice? The aftermath of legal accountability in cases of crimes against humanity in Argentina, a cross-generational investigation” received an AUFF Starting Grant of 1,100,000 DKK.
The aim of the AUFF Starting Grants is to secure outstanding newly appointed and future researchers good career opportunities at Aarhus University. Read more about AUFF Starting Grants here (add link)
Noa Vaisman, Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University