Lifting the Lid of Gacaca’s Black Box [Book review of: Bert Ingelaere, Inside Rwanda's Gacaca Courts: Seeking Justice after Genocide (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018)

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Abstract

Transitional justice is a scorching subject and Rwanda has been a favorite case study for a multidisciplinary horde of researchers since 1994. There are pressing reasons for such a massive intellectual curiosity in the large-scale and diverse rites de passage in the small Central African nation. As much as the mass killings of unarmed Tutsi civilians were perpetrated like a whirlwind, the mass reckoning with génocidaires traveled at light’s speed too, both inside and outside Rwanda. For non-Rwandan scholars, to understand both processes—the layered dynamics of mass violence and the consequential dealing with atrocity crime—tenacity, observation, and reflection is required. Bert Ingelaere’s book bears exactly the fruit of such an undertaking; through thirty-two months of immersion and iterative data collection between 2004 and 2014, he prudently lifts the lid from the Inkiko Gacaca’s “black box.” His book is empirically grounded, apolitical, and free from the orientalism that too often informs scholars’ views on noncosmopolitan transitional justice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalH-Genocide
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Rwanda
  • Genocide
  • Gacaca
  • Book review

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