Students Develop Research Proposals on Key Transitional Justice Topics

Students during a session of the academic track Students during a session of the academic track

14 June 2019

The academic track of the MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) offers a selected number of students an interactive platform for developing their own research projects, engaging in academic debates.

Students attending this year’s academic track developed research proposals on a variety of transitional justice issues, often addressing new approaches and under-explored perspectives.

Topical Issues in Transitional Justice

This year’s research proposals cover a variety of issues and problems including the role of education in post-apartheid South Africa; historical injustices in Canada and the work of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission; a reexamination of Argentine’s transition through the lens of democracy theory; the notion of recognition and its relevance for ‘women harms’ in transitional contexts; the potential contribution of transitional justice frameworks and practice to prison system reforms in the United States; reflections on a socio-economic transformation in Northern Ireland, with a focus on fiscal and monetary policies.

‘I am impressed by the quality and originality of the research proposals, which address topical transitional justice issues that are often linked to our students’ experiences or to transitional justice challenges in their respective countries’ underlines Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the MTJ.

Master in Transitional Justice Academic Track

An Intimate Learning Community to Introduce Students to the Tools of Academic Research

Six students from various countries and backgrounds – Argentina, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine and the United States – participate this year in the academic track, designed as an interactive platform for academic research and critical debate.

‘The academic track is addressed to students who have an interest in pursuing academic research, and particularly a PhD project in the future. ‘Our objective is to introduce them to the tools of academic research and to stimulate peer-discussions about complex theoretical issues within the field of transitional justice’ explains Frank Haldemann.

‘An intimate and highly stimulating academic experience: this opportunity allowed not only for critical engagement into my own research but also an insight into the research of my colleagues’ underlines Aghmad Gamieldien.

‘I could learn to craft a research proposal on the topic of my particular interest. I enjoyed, in particular, discussing my project with an engaged group of students and academics. This experience prepared me to pursue a future academic career’ says Agustina Becerra Vazquez.

Conversations with Experienced Researchers

Besides the development of specific research projects, the academic track also comprises conversations with experienced researchers who share with students their experiences and discuss research-related challenges, namely with respect to the identification of topics, methodology, research planning and funding.

‘This year we were privileged to have with us Dr Oliver Jütersonke, Head of Research at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding of the Graduate Institute and Dr Joshua Bowsher, Researcher at the Brunel Law School and Holder of a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship who exchanged with students around critical theory approaches to transitional justice and the question of the relation between urban safety and peacebuilding’ underlines Frank Haldemann.

MAS in Transitional Justice Academic Track

The Academic Track: One of the Three Spring Term Tracks

During the Spring Semester, three different tracks – Thematic Focus, Clinical Work or Academic Research – allow students to pursue their particular interests in highly personalised settings.

The academic track combines introductory sessions on the aims and methodology of academic research with seminars where students present and discuss their research project.

The academic track also includes an academic debate session allowing students to critically engage with controversial issues and questions and to take on the role of advocates or critics of particular strands of argument or positions.

‘I had the opportunity to develop critical thinking and therefore being able to engage with academic work in a challenging way. I could experience academy work as a collective conversation explains Belén Grau Contreras.

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