Author Archives: Richard Ashby Wilson

About Richard Ashby Wilson

Gladstein Chair of Human Rights, professor of anthropology and law, and director of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut, which he founded in 2003. Focusing on truth commissions and international criminal tribunals, he has drawn upon anthropological and empirical approaches to understand the ways in which national and international legal institutions write historical accounts and pursue accountability. His latest monograph, Writing History in International Criminal Trials (Cambridge, 2011), was selected by Choice as an outstanding academic title in the law category for 2012.

Gangster’s Paradise? Framing Crime in Sub-Saharan Africa

Recent human rights and rule of law initiatives pursued by both national governments and international institutions are part of a continent-wide project of liberal reform that has altered the landscape of law and governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. The central questions motivating this article are twofold: how have societal and legal categories of crime changed in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last twenty years, and what role has been played by national institutions such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and international tribunals such as the International Criminal Court? Since this article aspires to say something about both the law and popular discourse on crime, it reviews legal decisions as well as African literature and film.