Looking for courses on Latin American Studies for Spring 2020?
Consider Prof. Burt's course on Human Rights and Transitional Justice in Latin America (GOVT 444 004).
In the 1980s, as several countries in Latin America transitioned from military dictatorships responsible for massive human rights violations toward new forms of democratic rule, a new concept emerged to describe the efforts of those societies to grapple with the legacy of past violence: transitional justice. The mechanisms of transitional justice include truth commissions, criminal trials, reparations programs, memorials and memorialization, vetting programs, and institutional reforms, among others. The concept of transitional justice quickly gained relevance beyond Latin America and has since developed into a rich and multifaceted field of interdisciplinary research and praxis premised on the objectives of providing redress for victims and their families and building more democratic, just and inclusive societies. This course will introduce students to the study of human rights and transitional justice through an in-depth examination of several case studies in Latin America, including Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. We will explore the theoretical foundations of human rights that inform the key concepts of transitional justice and will critically engage the core debates within the field of transitional justice theory and practice.
About the instructor:
Dr. Burt is Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). For the past 30 years she has researched and written about political violence, state-society relations, and human rights in Latin America. She has also has a wealth of policy and advocacy experience on human rights and victims’ rights and access to justice. She has engaged in collaborative research projects with international human rights and local human rights organizations in Latin America, and she has served as an expert witness in human rights cases before the Inter-American Court of Human. Rights, the National Criminal Court in Peru, and in U.S. immigration and asylum cases. In 2002-2003 she was a researcher for the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Over the past decade she has monitored human rights trials in Latin America, and served as an international monitor to the criminal trials of former heads of state accused of crimes against humanity and genocide in Peru and Guatemala. She continues to monitor human rights trials in Guatemala for International Justice Monitor.