Keynote 2 : Andrew Jefferson

Keynote Speaker 2 (Day 1 14.50-15.35)

Andrew Jefferson

Andrew Jefferson

“Carceral Legacies – Prison and Politics in Myanmar”


(A partial recording, due to technical difficulties)

Slides (pdf)

Andrew Jefferson is Senior Researcher at DIGNITY, the Danish Institute Against Torture (Dansk Institut Mod Tortur). His thematic specialisation is in the development of critical psychologies of prison practice; perpetrative institutions and networks (PINs); prevention of torture and organised violence; transitional justice; justice sector reform; comparative penology. He is interested in developing an expansive psychological approach to the study of complex social phenomena; developing transdisciplinary approaches to theory and practice including building links between psychology, criminology, and anthropology; exploring critical psychological perspectives on subjectivity; and research into violence and conflict. His current research activities include projects on: State and non-state practices of detention during conflict and implications for lives and policy – a study of detention and violence in Sierra Leone; prison practices and human rights training in Nigeria.

He is currently working with Tomas Max Martin and Liv Stoltze Gaborit on the Legacies of Detention in Myanmar project. This project explores the historical and contemporary role of detention in Myanmar and its significance for the reconfiguration of state and society, and is founded on an understanding that prisons and detention practices play a fundamental role in modern states in general, and authoritarian and post-authoritarian states, in particular. The project will generate field-based knowledge about the history and consequences of detention practices (including structures, policies, institutional arrangements and everyday life) in Myanmar and explore how the contemporary penal system responds to the current political thaw. Using the notion of the legacy to capture the idea of practices of the past having powerful and productive effects through time the project explores how practices of detention persist yet mutate and have consequences for individuals, institutions, state and society. It will illuminate people’s experiences of detention and the ways in which detention practices contribute to or detract from the establishment and maintenance of democracy and peace.