Truth Commissions Compared: the Examples of El Salvador, Guatemala and South Africa
Ph.D. at the University of Cologne, 2002 (“magna cum laude”; in German) · Publishing house Mainz, Aachen, Germany · 1st edition 2003 · 360 pages, 1,629 footnotes · ISBN 3-86130-081-8
About this book
Truth commissions have become globally famous through the South African “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” which, led by Archbishop Tutu, dealt with the apartheid past of South Africa. Such commissions have been hailed by some as a solve-it-all to pacify a torn society, and vilified by others as an instrument for ‘witch hunts.’
Exploring the truth commissions of El Salvador, Guatemala and South Africa, the book vividly explains the idea, composition, modus operandi, problems and results of such commissions. At the same time, a wealth of excerpts from the commissions’ reports as well as from the author’s interviews with experts, commissioners, victims and perpetrators provides the reader with unusually varied and colorful insights into the subject’s legal, history, contemporary history, and (socio-)political aspects.
It is with critical sympathy that the book highlights the important contribution that truth commissions can make towards helping a society deal with its past and build its future.
Further information and excerpts from my Ph.D. (only available in German for the time being, sorry!):
Table of contents (pdf, 5 pages; in German)
Introduction (pdf, 5 pages; in German)
Conclusion (pdf, 11 pages; in German)
My presentation on Truth Commissions at the International Criminal Court (ICC)
The Hague, Netherlands · June 30, 2010
Presentation, English version: “A Discussion about Truth Commissions” (pdf, 42 slides)
Presentation, French version: “Discussion sur les Commissions Vérité” (pdf, 42 slides)