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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Transnational advocacy networks (TANs) focused on human rights advocacy have played a significant role in making prosecutions of former government officials for major crimes a norm in international politics. Tthe idea initially emerged in the twentieth century following both World Wars. A more sustained movement toward international criminal responsibility spread from the post-authoritarian context of Latin American transitions of the 1980s. While proponents of such trials have argued that they deter future atrocities and are less costly than humanitarian interventions, many of the claims about the trials’ impact require more research. Considering research across a wide-range of transnational issues, the key lessons for TANs include moving beyond “naming and shaming” approaches, giving local populations more control over trials and other post-violence measures, and accepting that prosecutions rarely address root causes of widespread violence and should be part of a broader mix of measures designed to represent a true break with the past.

Keywords: transitional justice, transnational advocacy networks, human rights violations, international criminal accountability

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