The chapter provides the conceptual background with regard to transitional justice, outlining the origins, development, and dynamics of the concept and the field. The chapter looks at characteristics that define the approaches that are currently dominant in research and practice. It then turns to the question of how transitional justice gains ground and is appropriated and reconfigured in different contexts, before ending with a discussion of frictional encounters in internationalised processes of change. These aspects provide the crucial background for understanding how and what kind of transitional justice was introduced in Tunisia.
Transitional Justice in Process is the first book to comprehensively study the Tunisian transitional justice process. After the fall of the Ben Ali regime in 2011, Tunisia started dealing with its authoritarian past very early on and initiated a comprehensive transitional justice process, with the Truth and Dignity Commission as its central institution. However, instead of bringing about peace and justice, transitional justice soon became an arena of contention. The book explores through a process lens how the transitional justice process evolved and why and explains how it relates to the political transition. Based on extensive field research in Tunisia and the United States, and interviews with a broad range of Tunisian and international stakeholders and decision-makers, the book provides an in-depth analysis of a crucial time period, beginning with the first initiatives to deal with the past and seek justice and accountability. It includes discussions of the development and design of the transitional justice mandate and, finally, looks at the performance of transitional justice institutions in practice. It examines the role of international justice professionals in different stages of the process, as well as the alliances and frictions between different actor groups that cut across the often-assumed local–international divide. The book therefore makes an essential contribution to literature on the domestic and international politics of transitional justice and in particular to our understanding of the Tunisian transitional justice process.
This chapter explores the manner in which the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) turn towards coercive mass re-education has reconstructed the Uyghur body, mind, language, religion, and culture as an existential and biological threat to the Chinese nation that is in need of ‘correction’. The chapter demonstrates this through an in-depth case study of the Uyghur literature textbook compiler Yalqun Rozi, who was arrested in 2016 at the age of fifty and later sentenced to fifteen years in prison on charges of ‘incitement to subvert state power’, and the subsequent revision of the children’s Uyghur-language textbook Til-Ädäbiyat. The chapter argues here that these textbooks were produced in revised form in order to better assimilate Uyghur children into Han Chinese culture and the national polity through transposing and adapting from the corresponding set of Chinese-language textbooks which are highly Han-centric. Although certain Uyghur-specific elements can be found in practice drills, such as Uyghur personal names, place names, idioms, and proverbs, these lack Islamic associations and are insufficient for Uyghur pupils to build a positive and strong self-conception about their own ethnic group. The chapter argues that the new textbooks ‘invisibilize’ Uyghurs within the local education system. This ‘invisibilization’ of Uyghurs in school textbooks mirrors the coercive forms of ‘corrective re-education’ taking place in the re-education centres for adults. The chapter concludes that these revised textbooks further expose the ultimate aim of the government’s two-decade-old ‘War on Terror’ rhetoric in Xinjiang to fully erase Uyghur cultural identity – in this case by negating one central means of reproducing Uyghur culture, Uyghur language.
While many have seen echoes of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) in the repression in today’s Xinjiang, this chapter argues that the more apt analogy to understand today’s campaign, and imagine an end to it, can be found in a better understanding of the 1957 Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957. The chapter demonstrates that there are three critical parallels with the Anti-Rightist Campaign. First, the Anti-Rightist Campaign was, just like today’s, completely controlled by the party and the government. Second, ethnicity clearly played a major role in the implementation of the Anti-Rightist Campaign in Xinjiang, morphing into a campaign against ‘local nationalism’ that primarily targeted Uyghur cadres and intellectuals. Today, too, Uyghur elites have been targeted for repression with over four hundred Uyghur intellectuals, artists, and businesspeople having been arrested and taken to camps and prisons, accused of being ‘two-faced’ and fomenting separatist ideas. Finally, after the ‘anti-local nationalism’ campaign in Xinjiang ended, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not have to disavow its actions despite its disastrous consequences. The chapter concludes that a similar outcome may in fact take place with respect to the ‘re-education’ campaign in contemporary Xinjiang: once the current leadership of the CCP concludes that ‘re-education’ has served its purposes there is little to suggest that it will face the consequences of even a symbolic reckoning with the injustices imposed on the Uyghur people.
This chapter examines the effect of the mass repression in Xinjiang on the Uyghur diaspora. It begins by noting that since 2016, thousands of Uyghurs living outside China have gradually been unable to make contact with their families, relatives, and friends back in Xinjiang. The chapter argues that this prolonged loss of communication has created tremendous effects on everyday life of Uyghur diaspora communities. Drawing upon the theory of collective trauma, the chapter provides an investigation of three dimensions of collective trauma: psychological, family, and social. The data used for this study come from semi-structured interviews with individuals selected from the Uyghur diaspora communities living in Turkey, Canada, the US, Australia, and Europe.
This chapter undertakes two major tasks. First, it attempts to provide a conceptual entry-point into exploring the Xinjiang emergency. It does so by arguing that the trajectory of the party-state’s governance of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) has been profoundly shaped by dynamics of colonialism, settler colonialism, and associated state-building that have provided the bases for a transition towards cultural genocide in the XUAR as a means of resolving China’s ‘Xinjiang problem’. Second, the chapter then provides an overview of the structure of and individual contributions to this volume.
This chapter, through an examination of the destruction of Old Kashgar via the Kashgar Dangerous House Reform Programme (KDHRP), demonstrates the ‘creeping’ nature of cultural genocide in Xinjiang. It argues that the KDHRP was undergirded by desires of social control and social engineering aimed at perceived ‘deviant’ Uyghurs, with the ultimate goal being the purposeful destruction and eradication of Uyghur culture in the Uyghur heartland. Moreover, some of the measures taken under the KDHRP in fact paved the way for the increased surveillance, social control, and the mass incarceration of Uyghurs that has escalated under the presidency of Xi Jinping and the regional leadership of Chen Quanguo. The chapter concludes that the KDHRP can be seen as a building block within a pattern of social engineering across the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) that amounts to creeping genocide through its consistent deployment of dehumanizing collective labels such as being ‘backwards’ and a ‘terrorist collective’ to the Uyghur population.
This chapter provides an examination of the centrality of themes of ‘pathology’ and ‘deviancy’ in the party-state’s discourse of ‘re-education’ in Xinjiang. It demonstrates that while ‘re-education’ facilities have been justified by the Chinese state as necessary ‘counterterrorism’ measures and analogized to ‘boarding schools’, this is belied by the highly securitized nature of such facilities and the known practices undertaken within them. The chapter makes three major arguments here: the ‘re-education’ centres – contra Chinese government claims – have been established to forcefully and permanently erase meaningful cultural markers (including Islam and native language) from Turkic Muslims; the lexicon of ‘pathology’ has been deployed to justify the state’s efforts to ‘save’ Turkic Muslims by ‘quarantining’ them from their communities and ‘reprogramming’ them; and the current repression in Xinjiang lumps an entire ethno-religious group into the same sociopolitical and criminal category as individuals convicted of violent crime, drug addicts, political activists, and mental health patients. The chapter concludes that the pathologizing of Turkic Muslim identity enables the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to simultaneously justify repression (i.e. provide a cure), apply this repression to large segments of society (i.e. treat an outbreak), and deflect blame from its own policies (i.e. offer an index case to an epidemiology that originates outside China).
This chapter provides an analysis of the potential links between the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) mass incarceration and re-education of Uyghurs with a growing literature on state predation through organ harvesting. It attempts to theorize the political logic of organ harvesting from vulnerable, primarily prison, populations in China, and then reviews the evidence that Uyghur Muslims are now victims of this activity. The chapter adopts a biopolitical approach as the most effective lens through which to see the Chinese state’s relationship to the bodies of its subjects as this theoretical approach reveals the internal logic of coercive organ procurement in the context of large-scale political violence and the hyper-marketization of contemporary China. The chapter argues that organ harvesting can be located firmly within two dominant logics and stages of the CCP’s ruling legacy: revolutionary governance and what some scholars have termed ‘gangster capitalism’. Through these two dominant logics the state has turned its subjects into commodities and given the state’s adoption of an instrumental logic towards Uyghur bodies, whether by expropriation of the migrant labour force, settler colonialism, and forced intermarriages, it is plausible that Uyghur organs may now too have become commodities. The chapter concludes that there is thus an exploitative biopolitical logic that sustains organ harvesting that resonates with Karl Marx’s de-fetishizing critique of capitalism – i.e. that while it is the apparently natural character of the commodity form that obscures the forces that created it, it seems that it is the unnatural character of organ harvesting that conceals its cold rationality.
This chapter examines the intersection of counterterrorism and surveillance in the current repression in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). It begins by noting that Xinjiang has been subjected to a dense network of hi-tech surveillance systems, checkpoints, and interpersonal monitoring which severely limit all forms of personal freedom penetrating society to the granular level. The objective, as XUAR Chinese Communist Party (CCP) deputy leader Zhu Hailun asserted in 2017, is to ensure that there are ‘no cracks, no blind spots, no gaps’ in the state’s surveillance of the region. The chapter argues that the CCP has sought this ambitious and dystopian objective through the imposition of the ‘Xinjiang mode’ of counterterrorism which combines the counter-insurgency (COIN) models adopted by the West (primarily the United States) in its ‘War on Terrorism’ with China’s own ‘public security’ and ‘governance’ models to create a counterterrorism strategy defined by militarization, surveillance, and ideological ‘remoulding’. The central objective of the ‘Xinjiang mode’, the chapter concludes, is to not only prevent ‘terrorism’ before it occurs but rather to pre-empt its very possibility by identifying and ‘remoulding’ individuals who display ‘abnormal’ behaviours.