Bio

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. In summer 2015, he was a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, studying youth resilience in North Africa and the Middle East. During 2012-2013 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Global Studies (CGS) at George Mason University. In the past, he was the Publication & Web Editor at CGS and Coordinator of CGS’s “Human Rights, Justice & Democracy Project,” funded by the Open Society Institute. Since 2013 he has been a Visiting Scholar at New York University. He has published in several academic journals, contributed to edited volumes and is author of several reports on foreign affairs for government and international organizations. He regularly writes analyses and op-ed articles online for think tanks and other institutions. He has received numerous awards and fellowships from many progressive institutions such as the Woodrow Wilson Center and the American Council on Learned Societies.

Project Summary

This project explores the creation of alternative transitional justice spaces 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, it scrutinizes the work of contemporary youth activists and artists to deal with the past and foster sociopolitical change. This research project 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 this performance activism has fueled the creation of a new spatiality of deliberation—so called strategic confrontation spaces—to contest the culture of impunity and challenge the politics of memory in post-authoritarian and post-conflict contexts.

Major Publications

"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.

“Democratizing Justice in the Post-Conflict Balkans: The Dilemma of Domestic Human Rights Activists,” (2012). CEU Political Science Journal, Vol. 7, No. 3, 243-268.

"To Be or Not to Be: Croatian Human Rights Activists’ Struggle to Account for Mass Atrocities," (2011). Global Studies Review, Vol. 7., No. 1.

Previous Terms

Jan 6, 2014 - Jan 31, 2014: “Youth, Performance Activism, and the Politics of Memory” This research project explores the emerging youth activism to deal with the past in post-conflict Balkan societies. While scholarly literature on youth advocacy work is incrementally developing, research that focuses on performance-based activism in Southeast Europe—combining art, performance and activism—is inexistent. This research project draws on over two-dozen in-depth interviews with youth activist leaders across the former Yugoslavia 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 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 in the region. Notwithstanding, he argues that this performance activism has fueled the creation of a new spatiality of deliberation—so called strategic confrontation spaces—to contest the culture of impunity and challenge the politics of memory in the former Yugoslavia.