Synopses & Reviews
The past decade has opened a new chapter on truth commissions: not only is the general model of a truth commission now more widely known and more often employed, but recent examples show a more robust and creative approach to truth-seeking than was generally seen previously. Priscilla Hayner, one of the foremost experts on truth commissions, thoroughly analyzes new trends that have emerged since the first edition of this classic work appeared, including an increasing use of public hearings, robust powers of investigation, increasingly long periods of history to be reviewed, trauma counseling, reparations, and reintegrating low-level perpetrators back into their communities. In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Hayner analyzes which approaches and strategies are most likely to succeed, stressing that this process is most effective when these components are designed from the beginning to compliment and reinforce one another.
The field of transitional justicea that broad arena of issues, challenges, and policies for addressing a brutal pasta is in rapid expansion. The trend toward stronger and more deeply-rooted truth commissions is but one sign of this change. This substantively revised second edition of Unspeakable Truths is an essential guide for making sense of these developments.
This book is a profound exploration of truth commissions around the world, and the anguish, injustice, and the legacy of hate they are meant to absolve. Hayner examines twenty major truth commissions established around the world paying special attention to South Africa, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala.
In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available.
Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.