Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Human Rights and Political Science
Many countries around the world have suffered from disastrous dictatorships riddled with human rights abuses. This thesis aims to answer the question of what happens after the dictatorship to address these human rights violations and why the responses differ from country to country. This paper poses six possible explanations as to what motivates justice, specifically prosecutions against former perpetrators: 1) the heinousness of the human rights violations, 2) the type of transition, 3) the legal structure, 4) the role of the executive, 5) international pressure through transnational advocacy networks, and 6) diffusion theory--the occurrence of similar justice policies in geographically proximate or culturally similar countries. Next, the paper articulates the cases of Argentina and Chile--the two case studies--and measures the validity of each hypothesis. Ultimately, this thesis argues 1) the severity of violence during the dictatorships, 2) the type of transition, 3) the legal structure, 4) the role of the executive, and 5) diffusion theory explain the justice policies in the short and long-term while more data must exist to determine the extent of the sway of international pressure.
Drucker, Michaela, "How States Respond to the Human Rights Violations of a Past Dictatorship: The Cases of Argentina and Chile". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2020.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/810