Optional module (10 ECTS Credits) - Spring Term

Aims and Objectives

This module utilises a broad range of approaches from the social sciences and humanities in order to develop a nuanced understanding of genocide and reconciliation processes. It aims to provide an insight into some of the key debates and an overview of important literature in the the fields of genocide studies, transitional justice, memory and reconciliation studies. Students will emerge with a deeper and more complex understanding of the concept and law of genocide, the theory and practice of 'reconciliation' and the appropriateness of applying such concepts to key case studies.

Module Outline

The first section of this module focuses on analysing and explaining certain ‘Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations’, specifically looking at obedience to authority and the origins and contemporary understandings of the concept of genocide (the crime of all crimes) and its relationship to colonialism and 'settler' colonialism. We will consider such contexts as 'indigenous/settler' relations in Australia and Palestine, the UN imposed sanctions placed on Iraq in the 1990s and the civil war in Rwanda 1990-94. In the second section entitled, ‘Reconciliation and Rights’ we begin with an outline of reconciliation theory informed by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation process before moving on to consider the case of the longest running, but least well documented, national reconciliation process Australian Reconciliation. It concludes with a detailed examination of the Rwandan reconciliation process.


3,000 word essay = 55% of the total grade. 
Student led seminar presentation = 5% of the total grade.
Seminar participation = 10% of the total grade. 
24hr take home exam = 30% of the total grade.

This module is ordinarily taught on Wednesdays. Lectures usually take place from 10.00am to 12.00 and individual classes are held at 12.30 to 1.30pm, 2.30pm to 3.30pm or 3.45pm to 4.45pm.

This module is taught by Dr Damien Short.