Exposing Collaborators: why ordinary people inform on others in repressive times - Barbora Hola and Mark Drumbl

The first seminar in the newly launched collaborative seminar series between the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds, and Department of Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Exposing Collaborators: Stories and Sentiments Starting in Communist Prague Mark Drumbl and Barbora Holá

Collaborators, informers, and snitches rattle about in times of conflict, authoritarianism, and political violence. Networks of informers are often an indispensable tool of terror in repressive regimes. While these individuals often play liminal roles in the violence itself, and may themselves be victims, they may also cause others terrible hurt and harm. Without them, human rights abuses would not normalize nor spread as widely. Using a case study of Communist Czechoslovakia (1945-1989), and drawing on the Czechoslovak Secret Police (StB) archives and informers’ oral histories, this lecture will explore processes of informing to authorities in repressive times and consider what transitional justice should do – if anything – with informers after repression ends. The session unravels the complex motivations behind informing, societal reactions to informing, and the role of emotions in informer motivations.

Speaker details

SpeakersBarbora Hola (VU/NSCR) , Mark Drumbl (Washington & Lee University, USA)

Respondent: Conor O’Reilly (CCJS, UoL)

Event joining details

All welcome. This is a free event, though registration is required via Eventbrite.

Joining instructions will be sent 24 hours before the event via email once you have registered.