The Dutch Research Council has awarded 81 experienced researchers a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros.

11/05/2020 | 1:15 PM

Seven of these are from VU Amsterdam / Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. The grant enables them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years. Criminologist Barbora Holá of Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement receives the Vidi for her research From the Past Back to the Future: Intergenerational legacies of mass atrocities.

When mass atrocities are over, societies strive to leave the violence behind and move on. However, legacies of mass violence remain present in individuals, their families and communities. They are being transmitted to post-atrocity generations, who have not directly experienced the violence. The history of wars, genocide or repressions is one of the significant predictors of future violence. In order to address legacies of mass atrocities, societies have been implementing, oftentimes on a large scale, various transitional justice mechanisms, including criminal trials or lustrations. Such mechanisms aim not only to deal with the violent past, but, by doing that to craft a peaceful and prosperous future for the generations to come. 

In this project entitled “Transitional Punishment: Moderating Legacies of Mass Atrocities? A Case Study of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Czechia” she will explore what role transitional justice mechanisms, such as criminal trials or lustrations, play in intergenerational transmission of legacies of mass atrocities within families and communities. Two PhDs, a post-doc and the team leader will develop and conduct original surveys, interviews and focus group, and thus explore impacts of ‘doing transitional justice’ on members of young generations, who did not experience the violence. The findings will be relevant not only academically but also for post-conflict peacebuilding and evaluation of transitional justice practices. Given its focus, the project will further reinforce and develop the Faculty’s emphasis on empirical legal studies and the Centre for International Criminal Justice’s research on transitional justice and its functioning and impacts.