Since its creation in 2017, the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy has forged pathways to disseminate widely the results of its research while promoting new scholarship.
With its Working Papers series launched this year, it seeks to publish early-stage and original research, particularly from early and mid-career researchers. This new outlet proposes to convene conversations around the Centre’s key research themes to build a transdisciplinary and global network of early-career researchers and more established scholars, and to provide constructive feedback to authors to help develop papers as a step toward publication in a peer-review outlet. A new call for Working Papers will be issued early next year.
The 2023 theme focuses on the rule of law and authoritarian practices and is edited by Rebecca Tapscott, Lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of York (U.K.), and Research Associate at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, and co-edited by Ricardo Pagliuso Regatieri, Professor at the Department of Sociology and at the Graduate Program in Social Sciences at the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil).
PhD Candidate Daniel Quiroga-Villamarín authored the first paper, which looks at the production of political memory through radio in Columbia. The second paper is by Juemarie Jiang, Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the SOAS School of Law, and focuses on the sentencing of rape cases in China.
Working paper no. 1: Daniel Quiroga-Villamarín, Radio Silences: “The Kidnapped Voices” and the Production of Political Memory in Colombia (1994-2018)
After being kidnapped by the FARC-EP guerrilla group in 1994, the Colombian war reporter Herbin Hoyos created the radio show Las Voces del Secuestro (roughly translated, “the Kidnapped Voices”). For 24 years, the families of those abducted sent out public messages of remembrance each morning, hoping that their loved ones—deep in the jungles of Colombia—would be able to hear the broadcasts from their radios. Although the show ended in 2018, its legacy lives on, not only in the collective memory of many Colombians, but also as an exhibition at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, Switzerland. In this article, I examine this radio program as a dispositif of power and knowledge that (re)produces a particular understanding of law, justice, and memory. In particular, this program has been used by far-right actors in Colombia to mobilize against the recent (2016) peace process—and its crown jewel, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). As the JEP tackles the question of FARC-EP kidnappings through its macro-case 01, the shadow of Las Voces looms large over Colombia’s transitional justice system. In the longest non-international armed conflict in Latin America, even the radio waves have served the continuation of war by other means.