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The emancipating speech and the denying silence: A critical analysis of truth-seeking policies
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The past decade the interest in transitional justice measures have grown and international actors have developed policy documents with recommended guidelines for how postconflict societies can deal with the difficult challenges ahead. Truth commissions have been referred to as successful institutions devoted to truth-seeking and reconciliation. However, recent research has been critical and have questioned the non-adaptable methods that require speech. The purpose of this study was to analyse how the dominating discourses of speech and silence determine the propagated policies of truth commissions, and how these effect possibilities of agency. Through an analysis of key policy texts the research was conducted with the analytical tool; What is the problem represented to be?, drawing on social constructionism and postcolonial feminists perspectives on language, discourses, categories, and power to interpret its findings. This study found that silence was presented as a problem in post-conflict settings. The binary opposite of silence is speech, which is the desirable agency assumed to provide emancipation and counteract denial of the past. This perception problematise other forms of agency, such as silence as agency. The policy documents construct subject positions of vulnerable groups, advocating normative actor and agency. Therefore, this study contributes new insights of how discourses effect, limit, and determine agency for those targeted by truth-seeking policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 42
Keywords [en]
Agency, postcolonial feminism, reconciliation, silence, social constructionism, speech, subject positions, truth commissions.
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157147OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-157147DiVA, id: diva2:1295671
Educational program
Politices Magisterprogrammet
Available from: 2019-03-12 Created: 2019-03-12 Last updated: 2019-03-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf