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Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

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Law

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

2011

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Contesting Community: Legalized Reconciliation Efforts In The Aftermath Of Genocide In Rwanda, Kristin C. Doughty May 2011

Contesting Community: Legalized Reconciliation Efforts In The Aftermath Of Genocide In Rwanda, Kristin C. Doughty

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

In recent decades, national governments and international authorities have increasingly emphasized the role of legal institutions in restoring order after political violence. This study explores how, following the 1994 genocide, the Rwandan government created new decentralized grassroots legal forums that aimed to produce community out of a divided population. The legal institutions were designed to enable Rwandans to resolve disputes with the help of locally-elected mediators, based on principles that prioritized collective cohesion over individual rights, combined with state-backed punishment. Drawing on eighteen months of ethnographic research in Rwanda between 2004 and 2008 with genocide courts (inkiko gacaca), mediation committees ...