Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Handbook: “Transforming War Related Identities”

It has been a great privilege for to write the lead article for the Berghof Handbook Dialogue series entitled “Transforming War Related Identities”

The series explores the question of how individuals and collectives can come to terms with war memories or trauma after mass atrocities is crucial for framing post-war relationships. But how do the processes on different levels (individual and collective) and diverse dimensions of identity formation relate to each other? How to deal with trans-generational legacies of violence? How can the needs of the victims be served in an appropriate way, and how to address “cultures of victimhood” that stem from past violence?

These questions are discussed by scholars and practitioners, peace activists, psychologists and social scientists in Berghof Handbook Dialogue 11 (ed. by Beatrix Austin & Martina Fischer).

The following contributions are available on our website:
My contribution  analyses diverse approaches for dealing with painful memories and discusses how different dimensions (interpersonal and intergroup relations, individual and collective memories and identities) relate to one another. The chapter builds on experiences from South Africa and Northern Ireland, where Hamber chairs the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) at Ulster University. We asked scholar-practitioners from other contexts to comment on his thoughts. Olivera Simic (Griffith University, Brisbane) and David Becker (Free University, Berlin) focus on working with trauma and reflect on experiences in coping with painful memories in the Balkans. Andrea Zemskov-Züge (Berghof Foundation) brings in examples from the Caucasus (Georgia/Abkhazia) and Undine Whande’s text makes reference to South Africa and to experiences from Germany in dealing with the legacies of the second world war.

You can also purchase the hard copy from Berghof and it includes my response to the above articles, visit here.

This Handbook Dialogue is dedicated to Dan Bar-On, who spent most of his life reflecting on practical approaches for dealing with the past and exploring how people whose lives and identities have been shattered by violence come to live a decent life again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Documentation, Human Rights and Transitional Justice

Special Issue of Human Rights Practice (2016, 8, 1) now out focusing on "Documentation, Human Rights and Transitional Justice".

Edited by Elisabeth Baumgartner (swisspeace), Brandon Hamber (INCORE), Briony Jones (swisspeace), Gráinne Kelly (INCORE), and Ingrid Oliveira (swisspeace).

The Special Edition can be viewed here:


  • Documentation, Human Rights and Transitional Justice by Elisabeth Baumgartner, Brandon Hamber, Briony Jones, Gráinne Kelly, and Ingrid Oliveira
  • Truth Commission Archives as ‘New Democratic Spaces’ by Briony Jones and Ingrid Oliveira
  • Practice, Power and Inertia: Personal Narrative, Archives and Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland by Brandon Hamber and Gráinne Kelly (email for a copy)
  • The Archive as Confessional: The Role of Video Testimony in Understanding and Remorse by Juliet Brough Rogers
  • Arrested Truth: Transitional Justice and the Politics of Remembrance in Kosovo by Gëzim Visoka
  • Truth, Evidence, Truth: The Deployment of Testimony, Archives and Technical Data in Domestic Human Rights Trials by Daniela Accatino and Cath Collins
  • Tensions in UN Information Management: Security, Data and Human Rights Monitoring in Darfur, Sudan by Róisín Read

Policy and Practice Note

  • Official Victims’ Registries: A Tool for the Recognition of Human Rights Violations by Jairo Rivas

Monday, April 25, 2016

John J Sweeney Scholarship at Ulster University

I am very proud to have been involved in the efforts of Ulster University and AFL/CIO in the establishment The John J Sweeney Scholarship. The John J Sweeney Scholarship at Ulster University’s International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) is now open for applications for our MSc Applied Peace and Conflict Studies programme. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2016, midnight. This is the second year of this scholarship which is supported by the AFL-CIO.

For more details click here.

Ulster University presents the INCORE Global Peace and Social Justice to AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J Sweeney, Washington, July 2014. L-R: Professor Brandon Hamber, Director of INCORE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh McKenna, AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J Sweeney, Eddie Friel, Director of Development and Alumni Relations Ulster University

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Building the Future: Victim and Survivor Issues in Context

The Commission for Victims and Survivors in Northern Ireland hosted 2 Day Conference on Review of the Victims and Survivors Strategy 2009-19. The event took place at Titanic Belfast. 
The Commission invited victims groups, individuals, statutory bodies, organisations and other key stakeholders to time to reflect on how far we have come and to identify priorities for the victims and survivors in the coming years. 
At the conference I presented a short paper entitled "Building the Future: Victim and Survivor Issues in Context". To download my paper click the link below.
Hamber, B. (2015). Building the Future: Victim and Survivor Issues in Context. Paper presented at the Review of the Victims and Survivors Strategy 2009-2019 Conference, Annual Conference, Commission for Victims and Survivors Titanic Belfast, 9-10 March 2016.
Further information, including pictures, videos and supporting information can be found here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Engendering Transitional Justice: Silence, Absence & Repair

This special issue of Human Rights Review edited by Olivera Simic grew out of a two-day symposium held in Coolangatta, Australia, in November 2014, organised by the Socio-Legal Centre, Griffith Law School, Griffith University, Australia. As Simic writes "The symposium brought together experts concerned with transitional justice studies to consider new ways in which gender needs be rethought and perhaps reinterpreted, in the context of societies that deal with massive human rights abuse. The symposium was an intense and close engagement, where scholars from the fields of human rights, transitional justice, anthropology, psychology, and peace and conflict studies presented their work and received constructive feedback from their colleagues. Five papers that were part of the symposium proceedings are featured in this special issue, covering a broad spectrum of interrelated topics, and highlighting debates in the field of transitional justice that are often overlooked and underdeveloped in the literature. In accordance with the theme of the symposium, the articles in this special issue are unified by the topic of ‘Engendering Transitional Justice’ and the crosscutting themes of ‘Silence, Absence and Repair’".

  • Editor Note: Engendering Transitional Justice: Silence, Absence and Repair (Olivera Simic)
  • There Is a Crack in Everything: Problematising Masculinities, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice (Brandon Hamber)
  • Gendered Narratives: Stories and Silences in Transitional Justice (Elisabeth Porter)
  • After the Truth Commission: Gender and Citizenship in Timor-Leste (Lia Kent)
  • Engendering Transitional Justice: a Transformative Approach to Building Peace and Attaining Human Rights for Women (Wendy Lambourne, Vivianna Rodriguez Carreon)
  • Feminist Research in Transitional Justice Studies: Navigating Silences and Disruptions in the Field (Olivera Simic)

Download or view the Special Issue

Monday, February 8, 2016

Masculinites, Violence & Post Conflict

Prof Brandon Hamber gives the closing remarks at the postgraduate conference on Masculinities, Violence and Post Conflict, 14 January 2016, Ulster University. The conference was organised by PhD students in TJI, INCORE and IRISS, and supported by International Alert, Conciliation Resources, Saferworld, and the Political Settlements Research Programme.