Amnesty, Revenge, and the Threat of Conflict Relapse

Amnesty, Revenge, and the Threat of Conflict Relapse Recent decades have witnessed an increase in internal armed conflicts, resulting in significant consequences for affected civilian populations. At the same time, there has been rapid growth in international criminal law and a trend towards accountability. Yet, attempts to mitigate violence may come at the cost of accountability, leading to the commonly referenced to peace-versus-justice dispute. Blanket amnesties are one tool for conflict mitigation, bargaining chips that allow actors to come to the negotiating table. This article examines issues related to blanket amnesties that are absent from the amnesty versus accountability debate. The basis of the analysis is not whether accountability reduces a victim’s desire for revenge. Instead, the analysis examines whether amnesty increases a victim’s desire for revenge, and when combined with other socio-political factors that contribute to conflict relapse, finds that this increased desire may escalate the potential for renewed violence in post-conflict regions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Criminal Law Review Brill

Amnesty, Revenge, and the Threat of Conflict Relapse

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2014 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1567-536X
eISSN
1571-8123
D.O.I.
10.1163/15718123-01406009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent decades have witnessed an increase in internal armed conflicts, resulting in significant consequences for affected civilian populations. At the same time, there has been rapid growth in international criminal law and a trend towards accountability. Yet, attempts to mitigate violence may come at the cost of accountability, leading to the commonly referenced to peace-versus-justice dispute. Blanket amnesties are one tool for conflict mitigation, bargaining chips that allow actors to come to the negotiating table. This article examines issues related to blanket amnesties that are absent from the amnesty versus accountability debate. The basis of the analysis is not whether accountability reduces a victim’s desire for revenge. Instead, the analysis examines whether amnesty increases a victim’s desire for revenge, and when combined with other socio-political factors that contribute to conflict relapse, finds that this increased desire may escalate the potential for renewed violence in post-conflict regions.

Journal

International Criminal Law ReviewBrill

Published: Oct 17, 2014

Keywords: amnesty; conflict relapse; peace versus justice; international criminal law; interest of peace

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