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Home arrow Law arrow United States law and policy on transitional justice : principles, politics, and pragmatics

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C. SOURCES

This book investigates and draws conclusions about each of the six case studies by examining primary documents and secondary sources relating to USG decision-making on transitional justice; by consulting further primary and secondary sources in the fields of political science, law, history, and area studies; by considering additional facts and the logic and persuasiveness of arguments put forth in interviews with U.S. officials involved in, and others familiar with, these cases; and by analyzing events before, during, and after the six case studies.

Source Sets—Types

My research therefore draws upon three main sets of sources. First, I researched primary sources, including published and unpublished USG documents, UNSC resolutions and reports, statements by U.S. and other state and intergovernmental officials reported in the press, and documents from European, East Asian, and the Rwandan governments. As part of this process, I filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the U.S. Departments of State (U.S./DoS), Defense (U.S./DoD), and Justice (U.S./DoJ), and I sent similar requests to the UN Libraries and Office of the UN Secretary General (UNSG) to declassify and make available primary documents (e.g., cables, intra- and interagency memorandums) relevant to transitional justice policymaking in the six case studies. These primary sources provided critical and unfiltered insight into the evolution of the USG decision-making process, including the perspectives and motivations of key individuals.

Second, I consulted secondary sources to review the literature on the USG role in transitional justice issues and to facilitate my assessment of the application of related international relations theories to particular challenges inherent in understanding international cooperation and coordination on transitional justice issues. I drew these secondary sources from the fields of international relations (including international cooperation and institution creation), international law (especially international criminal law), history (including the history of conflict, diplomatic history, legal history, and the history of the UN), human rights, transitional justice, U.S. foreign policy, conflict prevention and management, and regional studies. These materials provided useful information on the background of and theoretical framework through which USG policy on transitional justice can be analyzed.

Finally, in order to supplement written primary and secondary sources, and to gain further insight into the reasons for and motivations behind certain transitional justice policy choices, I conducted personal interviews with current and former USG officials involved in or familiar with U.S. foreign policy regarding suspected perpetrators of the atrocities I investigated. I also interviewed other individuals who are knowledgeable about USG policymaking in this issue area, including from NGOs (human rights organizations, think tanks, etc.), academia, other state governments, and the ICTs themselves.89

I sought declassified documents and personal interviews not only for the additional insights they would provide but also to confirm or refute arguments proffered in secondary sources or through other primary sources.

 
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