Human rights "in the making": on restitution, expertise and devices for denunciation
Lindsay Smith (University of New Mexico)
Oriana Bernasconi (Universidad Alberto Hurtado)
Fredy Mora-Gamez (Linkoping University)
Fredy Mora-Gamez (Linkoping University)
Oriana Bernasconi
Thursday 1 September, 9:00-10:45, 11:00-12:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The panel explores the role of expertise and technical devices participating in institutional responses to collective violence. We open up rights restitution "in the making" to gain a better understanding of these controversial dynamics considering particular issues of power, knowledge and truth.

Long abstract:

Restitution of human rights in situations of violence is approached as a set of institutional decisions that recognize different forms of perpetration. Such affectations generally occur under dictatorships, armed conflicts, wars, genocides, and other forms of politically motivated violence. The administrative act of recognizing the vulnerability of human rights is generally accompanied by the acknowledgement of responsibilities, compensations, asylum, medical care, psychosocial assistance, humanitarian aids, creation of memorials and museums, among other actions traditionally included in the repertoire of reparation; this acknowledgement also differentiates between victims and perpetrators

Following Foucault, Deleuze and Agamben, among others, we use the term devices to address a heterogeneous network of elements inscribed in relations of power and sustaining a variety of types of knowledge including discourses, institutions, regulations, laws, rationales, among other elements. Such devices can be empirically reconstructed by examining the role of different discourses, technologies and forms of expertise in the classification and processing of those atrocities. Thus, it becomes crucial to study the relations around files, interview guidelines, administrative forms, checklists, forensic evidence, legal instruments, assistance protocols, databases and documented proofs. This panel seeks contributions addressing the emergent uses and effects of such devices and forms of expertise in the evaluation and assistance of people affected by forced migration, forced disappearance, imprisonment, exile, exoneration, relegation, torture, anti-person mines, assassinations, among other forms of violence.

We welcome reflections on the potential role of STS in approaching rights restitution research, as well as theoretical, methodological, and ethical insights in studying this field