Call for Papers “Legacies Battles and the Politics of the Past in African Democracies", CIEA11 - 11th Iberian Conference on African Studies

Claudia Almeida's picture
Call for Papers
February 12, 2020 to February 24, 2020

CIEA11, 11th Iberian Conference on African Studies

School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon

2-4 July 2020



Call for papers

Panel 82  “ Legacies Battles and the Politics of the Past in African Democracies”


How and when the violent past becomes a contentious issue in African Democracies? Since the early 1990s, several Sub-Saharan African democracies have attempted to address past human rights abuses related to post-independence repressive regimes and civil wars, by relying on a varied mix of transitional justice mechanisms. In fact, how democracies deal with the past and design transitional justice measures is considered to be an important aspect of the democratization processes, also being increasingly associated with the quality of contemporary democracies. However, Transitional Justice academics and practitioners have scarcely explored the political parties' attitudes and behavior regarding the violent past, especially those with historical roots in the former authoritarian regime or in the armed internal conflict. This panel is mainly focused on the main political determinants of policy adoption regarding memory and transitional justice in African democracies. We welcome papers that develop quantitative and qualitative, single case and comparative research that consider the following topics of discussion:

When and why the past becomes part of the parties' political agenda and discourse, and a contentious issue in African democracies;

The conditions under which political parties resort to memory and transitional justice politics, and come to terms with the legacy of the violent past;

The impact of the historical origins of political parties in their attitudes and (legislative) behavior regarding transitionaljustice;

The local civil society‘s role in shaping memory and transitional justice politics in diverse democratic contexts across Africa.


Convenors: Claudia Generoso de Almeida (ICS-ULisboa) and António Luís Dias (ICS-ULisboa) and


Abstracts should be submitted here, until 24 February 2020

Contact Info: 

Claudia Generoso de Almeida

Research Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon