Norm Violations and Public Memory
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The use of torture by democratic states remains a practice that is seemingly hard to get rid of despite it being a universally condemned practice that is restricted by international law. Several explanations have been provided by past research, they can however not fully clarify why some democratic states continue to use torture. This study aims to provide an explanation that can add to the existing explanation of torture by democratic states by applying the theory of public memory. This theory holds that the creation of a public memory on past violence can prevent the reoccurrence of violence later on. The thesis uses a comparative case study to apply the theory of public memory to Spain and France. The findings suggest that while the theory of public memory cannot fully account for the continued use of torture, efforts to suppress discussions and reflections on the past through a state issued silence hinders the creation of a public memory and as such brings risk of continued use of torture.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen