Dienstag, 02. Dezember 2014, 18:00 - 20:00 iCal

ipw lecture

Historic Justice and the Logic of Normalcy and Deviance

Konferenzraum (A222) des Instituts für Politikwissenschaft, NIG, 2. Stock
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien


Vortragende: Kathrin Braun (Institut für Politische Wissenschaft, Leibniz Universität Hannover & Gastprofessorin am Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Universität Wien)

Discussant: Ursula Naue (Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Moderatorin: Birgit Sauer (Institut für Politikwissenschaft)


Abstract: The past decades have witnessed an increased preoccupation with the legacies of past atrocities and human rights violations. In law, political science and international relations, “transitional justice” has emerged as the dominant paradigm for studying and confronting historic injustices. Transitional justice, however, is also a contested concept that has been subject to critical intervention. While some critics seek to broaden the scope of transitional justice in order to accommodate additional issues, others challenge the transition paradigm altogether. The talk will first sketch out the main points of criticism raised against the transitional justice paradigm and introduce a further one, namely that the paradigm, due to its specific underlying political temporality, is unsuitable to capture what I call injuries of normality: human rights violations and systematic abuses based on categorizing people as being abnormal, unfit or deviant. The talk will draw on a cluster of injuries of normality committed under Nazi rule to illustrate the point: the persecution of people categorized as mentally ill, disabled, homosexual, or asocial, and demonstrate why and in what way their suffering does not match the transitional justice frame. Yet, the Nazi regime held no monopoly on injuries of normality, as more recent reparation struggles concerning institutional abuse in many countries have made clear. In order to better understand these struggles we need to examine the distinct logic that underlies the injuries of normality rather than expand the concept of transitional justice.


Institut für Politikwissenschaft


Walburg Steurer
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
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