Congratulations to Professor Janice Gallagher from the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark for publishing a new book titled Bootstrap Justice: The Search for Mexico's Disappeared. Professor Gallagher teaches classes on Latin American Politics, Social Movements, Human Rights, and classes in both the MA in Political Science Program and the Ph.D. in Global Urban Studies.
Bootstrap Justice centers the voices and perspectives of people whose lives have been upended by the disappearance of their loved ones in Mexico. The book argues that as people participate in ongoing mobilization and claim-making over time, (1) their legal consciousness— their understandings of the state and of themselves as citizens and political actors—shifts, and that with these shifts, (2) their ability to challenge impunity is likewise transformed. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic work, Bootstrap Justice offers unique insight into the critical but often overlooked role of informal relationships and dynamics in shaping substantive legal and human rights outcomes. The book presents in-depth analyses of the individuals involved in the daily struggle to find their loved ones, the organizations they form, the social movements they join, and the state- and national-level legal and political contexts that condition what is possible for them to achieve. This multi-level, temporally situated perspective provides unique insight into what has been achieved in the past decade and draws lessons relevant beyond Mexico about what can be achieved in the struggle against impunity