Arnaud Kurze is Assistant Professor of Justice Studies at Montclair State University. His scholarly work on transitional justice in the post-Arab Spring world focuses particularly on youth activism, art and collective memory. He is currently leading a Digital Humanities Project on political change in the Mediterranean basin and is co-organizing the Cres Summer School on Transitional Justice. Since 2013 he has been a Visiting Scholar at New York University. He is widely published and the editor of New Critical Spaces in Transitional Justice: Gender, Art & Memory. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the American Council on Learned Societies and Sciences Po.

Project Summary

The project "Transitional Justice 2.0" explores alternative transitional justice practices in post-conflict contexts, particularly concentrating on the role of art and the impact of social movements to address human rights abuses. Drawing on the former Yugoslavia, post-Mubarak Egypt and post-authoritarian Tunisia, the project scrutinizes the work of contemporary youth activists and artists to deal with the past and foster sociopolitical change. The research draws on in-depth interviews with youth activist leaders across the former Yugoslavia, Egypt and Tunisia focusing on their performance-based campaigns. Additional data was collected from content analysis—including media coverage, policy briefs and reports— and online-based prosopography. The latter consists of studying common characteristics of these activists by means of a collective study of their lives and careers. In his findings, the author explains why the emergence of transitional justice youth activism in the Balkans and North Africa falls short of the significant institutional reforms of earlier youth movement mobilizations in the regions. He also throws light on why their performance activism is distinct from practices of older, established human rights organizations. Notwithstanding, he argues that the recent performance activism has fueled the creation of new forms of deliberation to contest the culture of impunity and challenge the politics of memory in post-authoritarian and post-conflict contexts.

Major Publications

New Critical Spaces in Transitional Justice: Gender Art, & Memory, (2019) Indiana University Press.

“#WarCrimes #PostConflictJustice #Balkans: Youth, Performance Activism and the Politics of Memory,” (2016). Oxford International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 20, No. 3, 451-470, doi: 10.1093/ijtj/ijw014

"Contested Spaces of Transitional Justice: Legal Empowerment in Global Post-Conflict Contexts Revisited," (2015). The International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 19, No. 3, 260-276.

“Afraid to Cry Wolf: Human Rights Activists’ Conundrum to Define Narratives of Justice and Truth in the Former Yugoslavia,” (2013) with Iva Vukusic. In Olivera Simic and Zala Volcic, Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans, Springer: New York.

Previous Terms

May-Jun 2015: Title VIII Short-Term Research Scholar, “Justice Beyond Borders? The Politics to Democratize Human Rights in the Post-Conflict Balkans and Beyond.” The research project explores the politicization of post-conflict justice in the former Yugoslavia. It draws on over one hundred in-depth interviews including activists, victims, lawmakers, and experts from across the former Yugoslavia focusing on the role of human rights advocates in post-conflict justice processes. The author argues that a combination of internal and external factors has hampered the successful implementation of transnational restorative justice strategies in the Balkans. Jan 6, 2014 - Jan 31, 2014: Title VIII Short-Term Research Scholar, “Youth, Performance Activism, and the Politics of Memory.” The research project analyzes emerging youth activism to deal with the past in post-conflict Balkan societies. It is based on over two-dozen in-depth interviews with youth activist leaders across the former Yugoslavia and focuses on their performance-based campaigns. The author illustrates that performance activism has fueled the creation of so called strategic confrontation spaces to contest the culture of impunity and challenge the politics of memory in the former Yugoslavia.