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Out of One, Many. The Fragmentation of Victims' Organisations. The Cases of ASFADDES and COFADEPA

Rudling, Adriana (2016) Out of One, Many. The Fragmentation of Victims' Organisations. The Cases of ASFADDES and COFADEPA. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Victims' organisations are still very much the "black boxes" of transitional justice studies, despite the fact that victims themselves have, over the last decade, joined institutional design and inter-elite pacts amongst the chief preoccupations of the discipline. This study proposes that we cannot genuinely comprehend victims without looking inside their associations. It addresses this gap by shedding light on the micro-dynamics of two understudied associations, namely the Colombian Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos (Association of Relatives of Detained Disappeared, ASFADDES), and the Panamanian Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos Panamá (Committee of Relatives of Detained Disappeared Panama, COFADEPA). The 2000 fragmentation of COFADEPA and the 2004/2005 division of ASFADDES is seen as a gateway to comprehending the heterogeneity of victims in terms of needs, interests, and capabilities, and their individual agency. Using analytic narratives, it traces the development of these crises by deploying two versions of the Asymmetric Escalation Game created by Zagare. It asks whether or not fragmentation was an avoidable outcome, what incentive structure actors responded to when they initiated, and then repeatedly escalated, the conflict, as well as why no restraint was exercised on any part when fragmentation became imminent. The conclusion is that fragmentation was the unintended, but not accidental, result of the escalation of a conflict triggered by changes in the internal conditions of the organisations, and their political settings. The previous foundational pact or, to put it in game theoretic terms, the equilibrium between the coalitions underpinning these associations, broke down, and was not or could not be replaced because incongruities between affiliates frustrated the search for new common ground. Instead, believing they had the support of a majority of members, each side attempted to impose its vision, by escalating its threats against their antagonist, further polarising issues, and eventually culminating in fragmentation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: To be embargoed for 25 years. Date of release to the public March, 17 2042.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Politics (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Adriana Rudling
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2017 10:38
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2017 10:38
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16699

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