War Crimes Trials and Investigations: Major Trends and Disciplinary Challenges
The subject of war crimes investigations is so complex that it is impossible to study without constant confrontations with issues outside of one’s professional comfort zone. A historian is inevitably confronted with complex questions of international law which even specialists in the latter field continue to struggle with; likewise, political scientists interested in conceptualizing genocide at an abstract level rely on historians’ accounts, which themselves are constructed from the prosecutorial evidence generated in a given trial and political context. In other words, numerous disciplines build upon each other’s works, but with little dialogue and, hence, very limited understanding of their respective foundations. This introduction initiates that dialogue and marks the most direct, agenda-setting recognition of this fragmentation. It offers an agenda-setting overview of the most significant issues and challenges in the field.