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Other titles in the Princeton Studies in International History and Politics series:
Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics)by Gary Bass
Synopses & Reviews
International justice has become a crucial part of the ongoing political debates about the future of shattered societies like Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Chile. Why do our governments sometimes display such striking idealism in the face of war crimes and atrocities abroad, and at other times cynically abandon the pursuit of international justice altogether? Why today does justice seem so slow to come for war crimes victims in the Balkans? In this book, Gary Bass offers an unprecedented look at the politics behind international war crimes tribunals, combining analysis with investigative reporting and a broad historical perspective. The Nuremberg trials powerfully demonstrated how effective war crimes tribunals can be. But there have been many other important tribunals that have not been as successful, and which have been largely left out of today's debates about international justice. This timely book brings them in, using primary documents to examine the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, the Armenian genocide, World War II, and the recent wars in the former Yugoslavia.
Bass explains that bringing war criminals to justice can be a military ordeal, a source of endless legal frustration, as well as a diplomatic nightmare. The book takes readers behind the scenes to see vividly how leaders like David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton have wrestled with these agonizing moral dilemmas. The book asks how law and international politics interact, and how power can be made to serve the cause of justice.
Bass brings new archival research to bear on such events as the prosecution of the Armenian genocide, presenting surprising episodes that add to the historical record. His sections on the former Yugoslavia tell--with important new discoveries--the secret story of the politicking behind the prosecution of war crimes in Bosnia, drawing on interviews with senior White House officials, key diplomats, and chief prosecutors at the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Bass concludes that despite the obstacles, legalistic justice for war criminals is nonetheless worth pursuing. His arguments will interest anyone concerned about human rights and the pursuit of idealism in international politics.
"Toward a Just World is an insightful and thoughtful history. The first half of the twentieth century and the heroic efforts of those who sought international justice during that time will be much better understood and appreciated thanks to this fascinating book."—Robert F. Drinan, Georgetown University
A century ago, there was no such thing as international justice, and until recently, the idea of permanent international courts and formal war crimes tribunals would have been almost unthinkable. Yet now we depend on institutions such as these to air and punish crimes against humanity, as we have seen in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the appearance of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic before the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Toward a Just World tells the remarkable story of the long struggle to craft the concept of international justice that we have today. Dorothy V. Jones focuses on the first half of the twentieth century, the pivotal years in which justice took on expanded meaning in conjunction with ideas like world peace, human rights, and international law. Fashioning both political and legal history into a compelling narrative, Jones recovers little-known events from undeserved obscurity and helps us see with new eyes the pivotal ones that we think we know. Jones also covers many of the milestones in the history of diplomacy, from the Treaty of Versailles and the creation of the League of Nations to the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal and the making of the United Nations.
As newspapers continue to fill their front pages with stories about how to administer justice to al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, Toward a Just World will serve as a timely reminder of how the twentieth century achieved one of its most enduring triumphs: giving justice an international meaning.
"This study of the politics of war crimes tribunals discovers past cases that almost nobody had examined and covers in a lucid and provocative way more familiar recent examples. It is the best book on the subject, a humane plea for justice as the only alternative to unacceptable oblivion or vengeance, and a worthy addition to the company of brilliant first books."--Stanley Hoffmann, Harvard University
About the Author
Gary Jonathan Bass is Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. He worked as a Washington reporter and West Coast correspondent for The Economist, for which he wrote extensively on the former Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal. Bass has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and other publications.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations ix
Chapter One: Introduction 3
Chapter Two: St. Helena 37
Chapter Three: Leipzig 58
Chapter Four: Constantinople 106
Chapter Five: Nuremberg 147
Chapter Six: The Hague 206
Chapter Seven: Conclusion 276
Chapter Eight: Epilogue 284
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