Dr. Rosemary Nagy

Rosemary Nagy Profile Photo
Associate Professor / Faculty of Arts and Science - Gender Equality and Social Justice
Full-time Faculty
​Dr. Rosemary Nagy works in the area of human rights with a focus on transitional justice--responses to genocide, mass atrocity, and other human rights crimes.  She has researched and published in the contexts of South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda and, more recently, she has studied the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which was established in response to Indian Residential Schools.  Dr. Nagy is particularly interested in the relationship between gross violations of human rights and everyday, structural violence. Her current research flows from the study of residential schools; she examines the gendered legacies of colonialism and residential schools in the case of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. She is also Principal Investigator of SSHRC-funded research partnership between Nipissing University, Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre of Nipissing, the Union of Ontario Indians, and the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area. The research group is mapping patterns of exploitation and community resilience with regard to sex trafficking in northeastern Ontario. Dr. Nagy has published in Law and Society, Third World Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, and International Journal of Transitional Justice.<p>
BA, McGill University
MA, Carleton University
PhD, University of Toronto
Research Interests:

My current research interests have to do with the scopes and bounds of an internationalized transitional justice. This includes the task of engendering transitional justice, the relationship between transitional justice and social or distributive justice, and legal pluralism in transitional context, in particular, the use of "traditional" mechanisms.

Current & Future Research:

Works in progress include:

Abstract forCanadian Law and Society Association (Ottawa, May 23-25, 2009)

State, Community and Transitional Justice: Considerations from Legal Pluralism

This paper examines the transnational nature of transitional justice and its operation at multiple sites, including international courts, national institutions, and community-based processes. It examines whether legal pluralism provides a way past criticisms that transitional justice is too "thin" due to state-centrism and a failure to conceptualize transitional states as anything more than an undifferentiated whole. What are the implications of legal pluralism in transitional contexts vis-à-vis the projects of state- and nation-building? What is the meaning of the rule of law when it is developed and contested across plural legal settings? To an extent, legal pluralism indicates a "bottom-up" resistance to "top-down" conceptions of transitional justice, the rule of law, and human rights. But it is also more complicated than this.  Pointing to the cases of Rwanda and Uganda, the paper proposes that legal pluralism also represents a complex interplay of power and ideas within and between international, national and local sites of transitional justice. State power to produce conceptions of transitional justice, the rule of law, and human rights is both challenged and consolidated.


Refereed JournalsSusan M. Thomson and Rosemary Nagy, "Law, Power and Justice: Local Power Dynamics in Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts," International Journal of Transitional Justice (forthcoming)

"Transitional Justice as Global Project: Critical Reflections," Third World Quarterly 29, no. 2 (2008): 275-289.

"Post-Apartheid Justice: Can Cosmopolitanism and Nation-Building be Reconciled?," Law and Society Review 40, 3 (2006): 623-652.

"After the TRC: Citizenship, Memory and Reconciliation," Canadian Journal of African Studies 38, no. 3 (2004): 638-653.

"The Ambiguities of Reconciliation and Responsibility in South Africa," Political Studies 52 (2004): 709-727.

"Violence, Amnesty and Transitional Law: 'Private' Acts and 'Public' Truth in South Africa," African Journal of Legal Studies 1, no.1 (2004):1-22 athttp://www.africalawinstitute.org/ajls/vol1/no1/nagy.pdf.

“Reconciliation in Post-Commission South Africa: Thick and Thin Accounts of Solidarity,” Canadian Journal of Political Science 35, no. 2 (2002): 323-346.Chapters in edited books

"Transitional Justice as Global Project: Critical Reflections," (reprinted in) Osgoode Reader: Law in Transition -- Human Rights, Development and Restorative Justice," eds. Peer Zumbansen and Ruth Buchanan (forthcoming)

"Introduction" (with Melissa Williams), Nomos: Transitional Justice, ed. Melissa Williams and Rosemary Nagy (New York: NYU Press, forthcoming).

"Whose Justice? Gacaca, National Trials and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda" in Reconciliation(s): Transitional Justice in Postconflict Societies, ed. Joanna R. Quinn (Montreal, McGill-Queen's Press: forthcoming 2009).

"After the TRC: Citizenship, Memory and Reconciliation" (reprinted in) Fragile Freedom: Democracy's First Decade in South Africa, eds. A.H. Jeeves and G. Cuthbertson (Tshwane, University of South Africa Press: forthcoming 2009).Book Reviews

Transitional Justice From Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change. Edited by Kieran McEvoy and Lorna McGregor. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart, 2008. In Law and Society Review 43:3 (forthcoming).

What Happened to the Women? Gender and Reparations for Human Rights Violations. Edited by Ruth Rubio-Marín. New York: Social Science Research Council, 2006. In Peace and Change (forthcoming).​