Belfer Center Home > People > Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch

« Back to list of experts

Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch

Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch

Former Research Fellow, International Security Program (ISP), 2012–2014; Former Associate, ISP, 2009–2012; Former Research Fellow, ISP, 2007–2009

 

Experience

Former Research Fellow, International Security Program (ISP), 2012–2014; Former Associate, ISP, 2009–2012; Former Research Fellow, ISP, 2007–2009

Current Affiliation: Visiting Lecturer, Department of Political Science. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

 

 

By Date

 

2014

September 2014

"Ideational Change and the Emergence of the International Norm of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions"

Journal Article, European Journal of International Relations, issue 3, volume 20

By Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program (ISP), 2012–2014; Former Associate, ISP, 2009–2012; Former Research Fellow, ISP, 2007–2009

This article traces the emergence of the international norm of truth and reconciliation commissions. In the debates that followed the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, truth and reconciliation commissions shifted from being seen as a political compromise to being regarded as a 'holistic' tool for social and political reconstruction and came to be associated with multiple democratizing effects. Truth and reconciliation commissions also shifted from being the 'weaker alternative' to trials to a practice that is morally equal and complementary to the judicial option. Taken as a whole, these changes in the expected utility, morality, and specification of truth and reconciliation commissions facilitated their emergence and consequent institutionalization as an international norm.

 

2012

AP Photo

September 2012

"Measuring the Impacts of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Placing the Global 'Success' of TRCs in Local Perspective"

Journal Article, Cooperation and Conflict, issue 3, volume 47

By Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program (ISP), 2012–2014; Former Associate, ISP, 2009–2012; Former Research Fellow, ISP, 2007–2009, Megan Mackenzie, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Women in Public Policy Program, 2008–2009 and Mohamed Sesay

"Truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) have emerged as an international norm and are assumed to be an essential element of national reconciliation, democratization, and post-conflict development. Despite the increase in the number of TRCs being initiated around the globe and the international consensus regarding their positive effects, there is little understanding of the longterm effects and consequences of TRCs. Specifically, currently there are no established methods or mechanisms for measuring the impacts of TRCs; furthermore, the few examples of efforts to measure these impacts have serious limitations. This article explores both the rise in TRCs as an international norm and the contradictions and inadequacies in existing efforts to measure the impacts and successes of commissions."

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.