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Accountability for Corporate Complicity in the Brazilian Dictatorship

  • K-3.11, Strand Campus Strand London, England, WC2N 5RJ United Kingdom (map)

The Brazil Institute invites you to a lecture by Leigh A Payne.


The Brazilian National Truth Commission is considered to be unique by focusing on business actors, along with the more typical attention to state actors, involved in the dictatorship’s human rights abuses. This presentation will draw on original data on truth commissions to challenge that claim. However, it will focus on other areas of business accountability for past human rights violations in which Brazil has innovated, particularly in judicial and non-judicial activity following the truth commission. The presentation will probe whether Brazil has created a new model of accountability in these efforts that other countries might adopt.



Leigh A Payne is professor of Sociology and Latin America at the University of Oxford, St Antony’s College. Her academic research focuses on human rights, particularly legacies of authoritarian rule and armed conflict. She has published books, articles, and chapters on transitional justice. Her co-authored book Transitional Justice in Balance was recently translated into Spanish. Her new area of transitional justice work focuses on accountability for economic actors in past human rights violations. Her Unsettling Accounts book analyzes perpetrators’ confessions to violence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. Her co-authored 2016 book, Revealing New Truths about Spain’s Violent Past, extends that analysis to Spain. She is also developing a new book project tentatively titled Left Unsettled on left-wing perpetrators’ confessions to violence.

This talk, part of the King's Brazil Institute Research Seminar Series, will be followed by a Q&A and wine.