Joanna Quinn

Associate Professor
Cross-Appointed, Faculty of Law
Affiliate-Appointed, Women's Studies and Feminist Research

Quinn_J

Doctor of Philosophy, McMaster University
Telephone: 519.661.2111 ext. 85172
E-mail: jquinn2@uwo.ca
Office: Social Science Centre 4158


Research Interests

Since 1998, Dr. Quinn has been engaged in research that considers the role of acknowledgement in overcoming the causes of conflict, which has the potential to affect real and lasting change.  She has written widely on the truth commissions in Uganda, Haiti, and elsewhere, and on the role of customary practices of acknowledgement and justice in transitional justice in Uganda and in Fiji and Solomon Islands.  Her current work concerns the uptake of sympathetic engagement in the acknowledgement process, and how by-standers and outsiders might be effectively engaged.


Current Research Projects

What Makes People Care? Thin Sympathy and Acknowledgement by By-standers and Outsiders to Conflict

The study builds on two successfully completed studies of acknowledgement, or the recognition of past events, in Uganda (Quinn 2010b, 2013, 2015c).  Uganda in particular has experienced gross violations of human rights and significant inter- and intra-group violence and abuse for more than 50 years. Dr. Quinn’s study seeks to understand why by-standers and outsiders do not care to understand what has taken place in survivor communities, and ultimately never engage in processes of acknowledgement and reconciliation in those communities.  It further specifies the acknowledgement hypothesis (Quinn 2003a, 2010b), demonstrating the importance of "thin sympathy" or a basic understanding of the needs of the other as a necessary condition for action. The study focuses on by-standers and outsiders, two groups normally excluded from the victim/perpetrator binary, but which are crucial to the success of social rebuilding because almost every Ugandan falls into one of these outlier categories in the majority of post-Independence conflicts.  


Selected Publications

Books

Edited Books

Refereed Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • 2017: Joanna R. Quinn, “The Development of Transitional Justice Across Time and Space,” in Research Handbook on Transitional Justice, eds. Dov Jacobs, Cheryl Lawther, and Luke Moffett (London: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017). (Forthcoming).
  • 2017: "Madly Off in All Directions: Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Uganda,” in Transitional Justice and Civil Society in Africa, eds. Jasmina Brankovic and Hugo van der Merwe (New York: Springer, 2017), (Forthcoming). 
  • 2016: Cultivating Sympathy and Reconciliation: The Importance of Sympathetic Response in the Uptake of Transitional Justice,” in Non-Indigenous People and the Limits of Settler Colonial Reconciliation, eds. Tom Clark, Ravi de Costa, Sarah Maddison (New York: Springer, 2016). (Forthcoming).
  • 2016: "Kastom in Dispute Resolution: Transitional Justice, Customary Law, and Legal Pluralism in Solomon Islands,” in Transitional Justice in the Solomon Islands, ed. Renée Jeffery (New York: Palgrave, 2016). (Forthcoming).
  • 2016: “Transitional Justice,” in Human Rights: Politics and Practice, 3rd ed., ed. Michael Goodhart (London: Oxford University Press, April 2016), 389-404.
  • 2015: "Comparing Formal and Informal Mechanisms in Uganda,” in Trials and Tribulations of International Prosecution, eds. Henry (Chip) Carey and Stacey Mitchell (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), 239-254.
  • 2012: "The Politics of Acknowledgement: An Analysis of Uganda's Truth Commission," Genocide and Persecution:Uganda, vol. 1, ed. Myra Immell (Gale/Cengage Learning: New York, May 29).
  • 2012: “Transitional Justice,” in Human Rights: Politics and Practice, 2nd ed., ed. Michael Goodhart (London: Oxford University Press).
  • 2012: “Uganda: Country Study,” in Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, eds. Nadya Nedelsky and Lavinia Stan, vol. 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press), 8 pp.
  • 2012: “Haiti: Country Study,” in Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, eds. Nadya Nedelsky and Lavinia Stan, vol. 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press), 6 pp.
  • 2012: “Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances of People in Uganda: Transitional Justice Institutions and Organizations,” in Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, eds. Nadya Nedelsky and Lavinia Stan, vol. 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press), 5 pp.
  • 2012: “Commission of Inquiry into Violations of Human Rights: Transitional Justice Institutions and Organizations,” in Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, eds. Nadya Nedelsky and Lavinia Stan, vol. 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press), 6 pp.
  • 2012: “Commision nationale de vérité et de justice: Transitional Justice Institutions and Organizations,” in Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, eds. Nadya Nedelsky and Lavinia Stan, vol. 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press), 7 pp.
  • 2012: “The Supposed Accountability/Peacebuilding Dilemma: The Case of Uganda,” in Transitional Justice as Peacebuilding, eds. Chandra Sriram, Jemima Garcia-Godos, Olga Martin-Ortega, and Johanna Herman (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press).
  • 2010: “Gender and Customary Mechanisms in Uganda,” in Confronting Gender Justice: Women's Lives, Human Rights, eds. Debra Bergoffen, Connie McNeely, Paula Ruth Gilbert, Tamara Harvey  (New York: Routledge), 482-519.
  • 2009: “Transitional Justice,” in Human Rights: Politics and Practice, ed. Michael Goodhart (London: Oxford University Press), 363-377. 
  • 2009: “Introduction,” Reconciliation(s): Transitional Justice in Postconflict Societies, ed. Joanna R. Quinn  (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, May), 1-13. 
  • 2009: “What of Reconciliation?  Traditional mechanisms of acknowledgement in Uganda,” Reconciliation(s): Transitional Justice in Postconflict Societies, ed. Joanna R. Quinn (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, May), 174-206.
  • 2005: “Human Rights and Governance,” in International Development Governance, eds. Ahmed Shafiqul Huque and Habib Zafarullah (London: Dekker/CRC Press), 151-161.
  • 2005: “Are Truth Commissions Useful in Promoting Restorative Justice?” in Crosscurrents: International Relations, 4th ed, ed. Mark Charlton  (Toronto: Nelson Canada), 402-408.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • 2017: "Slow Decay and Long-Term Issues with Post-Conflict Justice: The Case of Uganda,” International Studies Association, Baltimore, MD: February 22, 2017. (Forthcoming).
  • 2016: Thin Sympathy and Operationalizing Acknowledgement in Transitional Justice,” International Studies Association, Atlanta, GA: March 17, 2016. (Forthcoming).
  • 2016: "The Prospects for Customary Law in Transitional Justice: The Case of Fiji,” Workshop: Transitional Justice and Civil Society: Asia-Pacific Perspectives, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia: September 29-30, 2016. *International
  • 2016: "Cultivating Sympathy and Reconciliation: The Importance of Sympathetic Response in the Uptake of Transitional Justice: The case of Canada,” Symposium: Non-Indigenous Pathways to Reconciliation, Melbourne, Australia: April 14-15, 2016. *International
  • 2016: “When By-standers and Outsiders Don’t Care: The Importance of Sympathetic Response in the Uptake of Transitional Justice: The case of Uganda,” International Studies Association, Atlanta, GA: March 17, 2016. *International
  • 2016: Christopher K. Lamont, Joanna R. Quinn, and Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, "The Emergence of Transitional Justice Ministries," International Studies Association, Atlanta, GA: March 17, 2016. *International    
  • 2015: "International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice: Working at Cross-Purposes," Canadian Council on International Law, Ottawa: November 5-7, 2015.
  • 2015: "Failure to Launch: The Consequences of Prematurely Conceived Transitional Justice," European Consortium for Political Research, Montreal: August 27, 2015.
  • 2015: "Collective Unsettlement in Uganda: Prompting the Acknowledgement of Past Abuses," International Studies Association, New Orleans, LA: February 19, 2015. *International
  • 2015: "Searching for the Transitional Justice 'Effect'," International Studies Association, New Orleans: February 18, 2015. *International
  • 2014: "Transitional Justice, Customary Law, and Legal Pluralism in Vanuatu and the Soloman Islands," Panel - Diverse Approaches to Transitional Justice, International Studies Association, Toronto ON: March 27.
  • 2014: "Too Soon? Thinking through the "Transition" in Transitional Justice," Panel - Transitional Justice During Armed Conflict, International Studies Association, Toronto ON: March 27.
  • 2014: “International Human Rights for All,” (invited presenter) Panel—HR Honors the Work of Rhoda Howard-Hassmann , International Studies Association, Toronto: March 26.
  • 2013: “Grassroots Practices of Reconciliation in Uganda: The role of religious and spiritual practices,” (invited presenter) Peace from the Ground Up: Post Conflict Socialization, Religion, and Reconciliation in Africa, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Capetown, South Africa, June 5-7.
  • 2013: Tamara K. Hinan and Joanna R. Quinn, "The Elasticity Question: Just how far can Transitional Justice be safely stretched?" Law and Society Association, Boston, MA: June 1.
  • 2013: "Madly Off in All Directions: NGOs on Traditional Practices of Justice and Acknowledgement in Uganda," Panel - Transitional Justice: Lessons Learned? International Studies Association, San Francisco, CA: April 5.
  • 2013: “Transitional Justice? The Utility of Traditional Practices of Justice in Uganda,” Department of Sociology, The University of Western Ontario, February 8, 2012.
  • 2012: “Mad Science? Possibilities for and Examples of Synthetic (Neo)traditional Practices of Justice and Acknowledgement,” Panel—Creative Approaches to Transitional Justice, International Studies Association, San Diego, CA: April 2, 2012.
  • 2012: “Making it up as we go along? Possibilities for and Examples of Synthetic (Neo)traditional Practices of Justice and Acknowledgement: Uganda and Fiji,” (invited presenter) Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, January 17, 2012.
  • 2011: “Customary Practices of Justice,"  Restorative Justice, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation, New York University, November 12, 2011.
  • 2011: “Ensuring Human Rights through Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies: The Case of Uganda,” Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR), The University of Western Ontario, October 28, 2011.
  • 2011: “Whither the ‘Transition’ of Transitional Justice?” Panel—Why Didn't They Think of That? Emerging Questions and Outliers in Transitional Justice Theory, Canadian Political Science Association, Waterloo, ON: May 16, 2011.
  • 2011: “The Prospects for Customary Law in Transitional Justice: The Case of Fiji ,” Panel—The Transitional Justice To Do List: [Re]Thinking Critical Issues, International Studies Association, Montreal, QB: March 16, 2011.
  • 2011: David Hoogenboom and Joanna R. Quinn, “Transitional Justice and the Diaspora: Examining the impact of the Haitian Diaspora on the Haitian Truth Commission,” Panel—Transitional Justice: Actors Shaping Ideas and Practices,  International Studies Association, Montreal, QB: March 16, 2011.
  • 2011: “Transitional Justice in Uganda,” Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, February 17, 2011.
  • 2011: “Transitional Justice,” Canadian International Law Students' Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, February 5, 2011.
  • 2010: “The International Criminal Court,” The ICC, Peacebuilding, and Security, Dalhousie University, Halifax, December 3, 2011.
  • 2010: “Customary Law and Transitional Justice in Uganda,” Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, September 27, 2010.
  • 2010: “Gender and Transitional Justice,” Global College, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, September 21, 2010.
  • 2010: “Truth and Reconciliation Processes and Lessons for Canada,” Critical Conversations on Indian Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation: A Seminar Series, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, September 20, 2010.
  • 2010: “Power and Privilege in Traditional Practices of Acknowledgement and Justice in Uganda,”  International Peace Research Association Conference, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia: July 6,2010. *International
  • 2010: “Power to the People?  Abuses of power in traditional practices of acknowledgement in Uganda,”  Panel—Disputing Ideas in Transitional Justice, Canadian Political Science Association, Montreal, QB: June 1, 2010.
  • 2010: “What Can the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission be Expected to Do?” Truth, Reconciliation and the Residential Schools, Nipissing Univeristy, North Bay, ON: March 6, 2010.
  • 2010: “Child Soldiers in Uganda,” Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, ON: March 04.
  • 2010: “Here, Not There: Theorizing about why traditional mechanisms work in some communities, not others,” Political Inquiry Colloquium, Department of Political Science, The University of Western Ontario, February 27.
  • 2010: “The Supposed Accountability/Peacebuilding Dilemma: The Case of Uganda,” Panel—Peacebuilding and transitional justice: Complementary, contradictory, or what? International Studies Association, New Orleans, LA: February 18.
  • 2010: “Spoiled Rotten?  Outsiders and the use of traditional mechanisms in Uganda,” Panel—Transitional Justice Praxis International Studies Association, New Orleans, LA: February 17.
  • 2009: "What of Reconciliation? Symbols, Rites & Ceremonies in Uganda," Beyond Reconciliation: Deaing with the Aftermath of Mass Trauma and Political Violence, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, December 03.
  • 2009: “`The Thing Behind the Thing:` The role and influence of religious leaders in the use of traditional practices of justice in Uganda,” Panel—The Complexities of Transitional Justice, Canadian Political Science Association, Ottawa, ON: May 29.
  • 2009: “Post-Conflict Social Reconstruction: Transitional Justice,” Compassion in Action, University Student’s Council, The University of Western Ontario, March 27.
  • 2009: “Post-Genocide: Social Reconstruction Through Transitional Justice,” Remembering Rwanda 15: Lessons Learned/Not Learned, Canadian Centre for Genocide Education, Toronto, ON: March 22.
  • 2009: “The Politics of Acknowledgement: Traditional Practices in Uganda,” Political Inquiry Colloquium, Department of Political Science, The University of Western Ontario, February 27.
  • 2009: “Tradition!?: Traditional Cultural Institutions on Customary Practices of Acknowledgement,” Panel—Transitional Justice: International Criminal Law and the International Criminal Court, International Studies Association, New York, NY: February 15.
  • 2009: “Here, Not There?  Theorizing about why traditional mechanisms work in some communities, not others,” Panel—Lost in Transition?  Justice and Traditional Practises in Post-Conflict Societies International Studies Association, New York, NY: February 15.
  • 2008: "Here, Not There? Theorizing about why traditional mechanisms work in some communities, not others," Panel - Transitional Justice II: Local Mechanisms and Initiatives, 2008 CPSA Annual Conference, Canadian Political Science Association, Vancouver BC: June 5-7.
  • 2008: “Gender and Customary Mechanisms in Uganda,” Global Gender Justice Symposium, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA: April 17.
  • 2008: “Accountability and Reconciliation: Traditional Mechanisms of Acknowledgement and the Implications of the Juba Peace Process,” Reconstructing Northern Uganda Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group, The University of Western Ontario,  London, ON:  April 5.
  • 2008: “Haiti’s Failed Truth Commission: Lessons in Transitional Justice,” Panel—Transitional Justice: Locating Justice: Local/National/International/Hybrid? International Studies Association, San Francisco, CA: March 29. *international
  • 2008: "Negotiated Political Settlements and International Criminal Law," Panel - International Justice and the Realities of Conflict (roundtable) International Studies Association, San Fransisco, CA: March 26.
  • 2008: “Traditional (and other) Justice in Uganda,”  International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto,  Toronto, ON: February 28. 
  • 2008: “Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding,” Coordinating Chaos, Trudeau Centre for Human Rights, University of Toronto,  Toronto, ON: February 10. 
  • 2007: Poster Presentation, “Transitional Justice in Uganda: The Politics of Acknowledgement,” Graduate Studies Showcase, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON: November 3. 
  • 2007" “Getting to Peace? Negotiating with the LRA in Northern Uganda,” Cross-Purposes? International Law and Political Settlements Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON:  June 9.
  • 2007: “Customary Mechanisms and the International Criminal Court,” Panel—International Regulations and Local Processes in Post-Conflict Society, 2006 CPSA Annual Conference, Canadian Political Science Association, Toronto, ON: June 3.
  • 2007: “A Gendered Perspective on Customary Mechanisms in Uganda:  In Pursuit of Transitional Justice” Panel—Transitional Justice II: The One-Size-Fits-All Approach and Traditional Alternatives, 2007 CPSA Annual Conference, Canadian Political Science Association, Saskatoon, SK:  May 31.
  • 2007: “Haiti’s Failed Truth Commission: Lessons in Transitional Justice,” Panel—Transitional Justice I: Truth and Reconciliation, 2007 CPSA Annual Conference, Canadian Political Science Association, Saskatoon, SK:  May 30.
  • 2007: “If at First you Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again: Transitional Justice in Uganda,” Building Peace and Justice: Lessons from Uganda (invited presenter) Academic Council on the United Nations System, Waterloo, ON: March 23.
  • 2007: “What Comes Next?  Sequencing in Transitional Justice: The Case of Uganda,” Panel—Transitional Justice: Truth-Seeking in Post-Conflict International Studies Association, Chicago, IL: February 28, 2007. *international
  • 2007: “Reconciliation in Uganda,” Paving the Way for a Sustainable Reconciliation Process in Uganda: Civil Society Conference on National Reconciliation Committee on Reconciliation in Uganda, Munyonyo, Uganda: February 13. *international
  • 2007: Poster Presentation, “The Politics of Acknowledgement,” Social Science Faculty Research Showcase, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON: January 16.
  • 2006: “Sophisticated Discourse:  Why and how the Acholi of Northern Uganda are talking about international criminal law,” Panel—Social Effects of Political Transitions, 2006 CPSA Annual Conference, Canadian Political Science Association, Toronto, ON: June 3.
  • 2006: “Past Truth Commission Initiatives in Uganda: 1974-1994,” Pre-Research Dissemination Workshop on the National Reconciliation Process in Uganda TRC Working Group, Munyonyo, Uganda: April 27.
  • 2006: “Comparing Formal and Informal Mechanisms of Acknowledgement in Uganda: Truth commissions and traditional practices,” Panel—Africa as a Subject of International Justice International Studies Association, San Diego, CA: March 22.
  • 2006: “Layers of Justice: Deconstructing Uganda’s Transition from War to Peace?” International Law Week The University of Western Ontario,  London, ON: March 7.
  • 2005: “Tried and True: The Role of Informal Mechanisms of Acknowledgement in Post-Conflict Reconstruction,” Political Psychology: Facing the Real World International Society of Political Psychology, Toronto, ON:  July 6.
  • 2005: “The Role of Informal Mechanisms in Transitional Justice,” Multi-Paper Panel—Transitional Justice: International and Local Dimensions, 2005 CPSA Annual Conference, Canadian Political Science Association, London, ON: June 2. 
  • 2005: “What of Reconciliation? Traditional Mechanisms of Acknowledgement in Uganda,” Reconciliation Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON:  May 15. 
  • 2005: “Reckoning with the Past: Traditional Mechanisms of Acknowledgement in Uganda,” Africa Day Department of Political Science, Research Western, and The African Region Research Network, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON:  April 18.
  • 2004: “Ethnic Conflict in Uganda,” Why Neighbours Kill: Explaining the Breakdown of Ethnic Relations Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON:  June 5.
  • 2002: “The Politics of Acknowledgement,” Research in Progress Seminar McMaster University, Hamilton, ON:  November 7.
  • 2002: “Dealing With the Past:  Uganda’s Truth Commission,”  Canadian Association of African Studies, Toronto, ON:  May 31.
  • 2001: “Theories of Acknowledgement:  The Case of Uganda,”  AFPREA Conference 2001 on Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region.  Africa Peace Research and Education Association,  Kampala, Uganda:  July 25.
  • 2000: “The Politics of Acknowledgement,”  Political Economy Research Group Symposium The University of Western Ontario, London, ON:  November 20.
  • 2000: “Classifying Truth Commissions,”  Concerned Philosophers for Peace,  McMaster University, Hamilton, ON:  October 29.
  • 2000: "The Politics of Acknowledgement: Truth Commissions in Uganda and Haiti," Women In International Security (WIIS), Annapolis, MD: June 17.
  • 2000: "Truth Commissions: A Comparative Assessment," Public Policy in a Global Economy, University of Bath, Bath, U.K.: April 17.

Awards and Distinctions

  • Member, The College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada, 2015-2022.
  • 2013-16: The Africa Institute, IDI Grant (Western Internal), "Building Teaching and Research Excellence Through the Africa Institute", $376,000
  • 2015: Nominee, Grawemeyer Award for idea improving World Order, University of Louisville 
  • 2014: Nominee, Trudeau Fellowship
  • 2014: Faculty of Social Science Small Grant Research Competition (Western Internal), "Collective Unsettlement and the Politics of Acknowledgement, $3,191
  • 2014: Social Science and Humanities Research Board Bridge Grant (Western Internal), "Collective Unsettlement and the Politics of Acknowledgement, $21,000
  • 2014: ISA Venture Grant (Western Internal), "Trials and Tribulations: Two Decades of Transitional Justice Research and Practice", (Co-PI with Rachel Kerr), $13,988 
  • 2012-2013: Nominee, Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, The University of Western Ontario
  • 2012-2014: Faculty Scholar, The U  niversity of Western Ontario
  • 2008-2009: USC Teaching Honour Roll Award of Excellence, The University of Western Ontario
  • 2007-2008: USC Teaching Honour Roll Award of Excellence, The University of Western Ontario
  • 2006-2007: USC Teaching Honour Roll Award of Excellence, The University of Western Ontario
  • 2003-2004: Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, The University of Western Ontario
  • 2002-2003: Policy Research Initiative Graduate Student Speakers’ Series on Sustainable Development Award, Privy Council Office, Office of the Prime Minister of Canada
  • 2002-2003: USC Teaching Honour Roll Award of Excellence, The University of Western Ontario
  • 1996: Best Delegate, North American Model United Nations with scholarship, and Best Delegate, Social Cultural and Humanitarian Committee, North American Model United Nations