RSVP and Valid ID are required for entry. Please RSVP to Audrey Watne at to be guaranteed a seat. Snacks and coffee will be provided.

About the Lecture:

The notion of a ‘global accountability norm’ suggests that countries transitioning from authoritarian rule or civil conflict face have few options except accountability to deal with their past.  In this lecture, Professor Leigh Payne presents her recent paper which questions that notion and examines the different transitional justice pathways to accountability and those that remain blocked. She further examines the impact of those pathways on the goals of strengthening democracy and improving human rights scores.  Her findings are based on a new database that will soon be made publicly available.

About our Speaker:

Leigh A Payne is professor of Sociology and Latin America at the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College).  She has written extensively on transitional justice drawing from the Transitional Justice Data Base ( that she developed with Tricia D. Olsen and Andrew G. Reiter. For that project they received funding from the US Institute of Peace, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the Zennstrom Foundation.  They subsequently expanded their team at the University of Oxford (Francesca Lessa and Gabriel Pereira) and began a collaboration with Kathryn Sikkink and her research team at the University of Minnesota to carry out a US National Science Foundation and UK Arts & Humanities Research Council project on the “Impact of Transitional Justice.” With Oak Foundation support they have studied amnesty laws in particular and pathways for overcoming impunity. They are currently generating findings from this project.  They have recently received additional funding from the NSF-AHRC to conduct research on “Alternative Accountabilities for Past Human Rights Violations,” a project on civil trials, reparations, lustration/vetting, and customary justice to be completed in 2014.  They have also received funding from the British Academy-Leverhulme Trust for a study of corporations and human rights.  In addition to these team projects, Payne has also solo authored a number of books, book chapters, and articles. She is currently working on new projects that emerge from her book Unsettling Accounts: Neither Truth nor Reconciliation in Confessions of State Violence (Duke University Press, 2008).



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