This special issue is dedicated to Chandra Lekha Sriram – a mentor, colleague, and friend – who was to participate in this project but passed away suddenly several months before the workshop. The dilemmas explored in this special issue were central themes in her body of work, which has left a profound imprint on the fields of peacebuilding and transitional justice. Her friendship, academic brilliance, and presence are greatly missed.
—Adam Kochanski and Joanna R. Quinn, “Letting the state off the hook? Dilemmas of holding the state to account in times of transition”, Peacebuilding, vol. 9, no. 2 (2021): 103-113.
To Chandra Lekha Sriram
At this time of year, my thoughts turn to Chandra and to her many friends and family. I never took the time to express my condolences and to share in the celebration of her life. When I first heard the news, I was in the middle of fieldwork in Africa and the shock of her passing took a long time to shift into a more useful form of grief. But I now remember her more gently, not just a visceral, heartbroken feeling that she was gone too soon. Her memory really is a blessing. Chandra was, as everyone has expressed, a remarkable human being. I met her when we were both at the then International Peace Academy (now Institute), in the 2000s. She stood out as a shining example of how to do valuable and original research on conflict prevention, peacebuilding, human rights and justice within our international policy context. Watching her, reading her, I learned much about evaluating transitional justice, and the interconnections that might be possible across disciplines and fields. I loved her reliable, relentless rigor, her sharp wit and her laugh, the people she befriended, her excellent taste in food, the way she wore black. Well over a decade later, after losing touch and living on different continents, Chandra agreed to be the faculty examiner of my doctoral dissertation at Uppsala University. Her engagement with my thesis seemed remarkably well-suited. She had an important perspective on what I had tried to accomplish, where I had triumphed and where it didn’t quite work out. She was a funny, clever, kind companion during an exhausting day (and during the long evening’s familial-collegial revelry). And still now, I’m often reminded of Chandra. Her work impacts upon how we operationalize concepts of international law and political science in the study of justice. An inspirational mentor, ‘Chandra style’ infuses the way I teach and engage students. Her writing about ethics remains integral to understanding the dilemmas we all face when we study conflict and its aftermaths. Colleagues at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, still rely upon her research and share in the memorialization of her scholarship. Indeed, Chandra’s legacy will continue to inspire our collective efforts to understand, and to build peace in a troubled world.
—Angela Muvumba Sellström
Uppsala University, Department of Peace and Conflict Research
From a new edited volume, International Law and Transitional Governance:
Finally, we would like to express our profound gratitude for the role played by Chandra Lekha Sriram. Chandra was one of the driving forces behind our collective project on “International Law and Transitional Governance.” She helped us shape the project from the outset, presented a paper in the Florence expert seminar in 2015, and gave feedback to other contributors. Sadly, Chandra passed away during the making of this volume. We considered her a close colleague and a generous mentor. It is a terrible loss for those who knew her and for the discipline she contributed so much to. She will be tremendously missed. She is the reason why we are publishing the volume with Routledge in the Series “Law, Conflict and International Relations,” of which she was the series editor. To honor her and her legacy, we dedicate this volume to her.
—Emmanuel H. D. De Groof and Micha Wiebuschn, eds. International Law and Transitional Governance: Critical Perspectivess. Routledge, 2020.