Perpetrator Studies Network


Restos humanos e identificación. Violencia de masa, genocidio y el “giro forense”

Edited by Sévane Garibian, Élisabeth Anstett y Jean-Marc Dreyfus.

Language of publication: Spanish

Human Remains and Identification presents a pioneering investigation into the practices and methodologies used in the search for and exhumation of dead bodies resulting from mass violence. Previously absent from the discussion of forensic practices, social scientists and historians here confront historical and contemporary exhumations with the application of social context to create an innovative and interdisciplinary dialogue. Never before has a single volume examined the context of motivations and interests behind these pursuits, each chapter enlightening the political, social and legal aspects of mass violence and its aftermaths.

This book argues that the emergence of new technologies to facilitate the identification of dead bodies has led to a “forensic turn”, normalising exhumations as a method of dealing with human remains en masse. However, are these exhumations always made for legitimate reasons and what can we learn about societies from the way in which they deal with this consequence of mass violence?

Multidisciplinary in scope, this book presents a ground-breaking selection of international case studies, including the identification of corpses by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the return of human remains from the Russian Gulag and the sites of Jewish massacres from the Holocaust, or the search for the bodies of those who disappeared under the military dictatorship in Uruguay. Human remains and identification will appeal to readers interested in understanding this crucial phase of mass violence’s aftermath, including researchers in history, anthropology, sociology, forensic science, law, politics and modern warfare.

For more information about this book (in Spanish) please click here.