1st Edition

Clarifying the Past Understanding Historical Commissions in Conflicted and Divided Societies

By Cira Pallí-Asperó Copyright 2023
    270 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    Clarifying the Past provides a comprehensive analysis of state-sponsored historical commissions operating in conflicted and divided societies, developing a theoretical and methodological framework within the historical dialogue paradigm, key to understanding the work of such commissions.

    The theoretical and methodological framework is complemented with an extensive empirical analysis of 27 historical commissions that operated in different social and political contexts from 1990s to the present. The detailed examination of these cases gives a broad perspective into the potential capacities of historical commissions in different settings. Although only sampling the most recent cases, this volume shows how the steady increase of the number of historical commissions indicates that we are not dealing with a marginal phenomenon. The increased recognition of the potential of historical commissions to address the legacies of contested pasts and potential introduction of such commissions to transitional justice, makes this book highly relevant.

    This book has been written with the objective of deepening and broadening the existing knowledge on state-sponsored historical commissions. Its intended audiences are scholars and practitioners in the fields of historical theory, public history, and historical dialogue, transitional justice, peace and conflict studies.

    0. Introduction  PART I: Understanding Historical Commissions  1. The Politics of the Past and the Production of Historical Knowledge  2. Historical Commissions: A conceptual Framework  3. Institutionalisation of Historical Commissions  4. Historical Commissions’ Methods of Practice  PART II: Mapping Historical Commissions  5. Introduction to the empirical analysis  6. Diplomatic historical commissions  7. Post-totalitarian historical commissions  8. (Post)conflict historical commissions  9. Post-Colonial historical commissions  10. The suitability of the historical method and contribution of the cases to the historical commissions’ conceptual framework.  Epilogue  11. Placing historical commissions within the transitional justice paradigm


    Cira Pallí-Asperó is a research fellow at the Human Rights Centre at Ghent University. Her work lies at the nexus of historiography and transitional justice with focus on state-sanctioned historical commissions.