Transitional justice and liberal post-conflict governance : synergies and symmetries, frictions and contradictions
“Transitional justice” is a field of practice, policy and study that focuses on the ways that societies respond to legacies of large-scale atrocities though tribunals, truth commissions, reparations, and other mechanisms.
- Dustin Sharp
- 08 March 2016
- Leiden University Repository
Over the last thirty years, transitional justice has become the globally dominant lens through which we grapple with such legacies. Yet transitional justice practice has rarely reflected the diversity of peace and justice traditions around the world, bound up as it has been with largely liberal and Western conceptions of justice. This thesis examines the frictions and blindspots these dynamics have created, arguing that the liberal transitional justice lens has significantly biased our conceptions of what it means to “do justice” as well as the modalities for bringing justice about. If we are to make transitional justice into a true global project, I argue, we need to revisit and deconstruct the field’s core normative metanarratives and assumptions as a prelude to seeking a more emancipatory ground for transitional justice policy and practice that is true to human rights ideals while becoming more open-textured and attuned to local needs and context.
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