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Armed conflicts and authoritarian regimes in which massive human rights abuses are committed can have an immensely negative socioeconomic impact. As a result, transitional justice is often pursued in a context of socioeconomic underdevelopment, scarce resources, and myriad competing needs.

In this context, decision makers face difficult dilemmas about where to allocate available resources.

Project Aims

To address some of those dilemmas, ICTJ’s Research Unit conducted a project to examine the relationship between transitional justice and development, fields that—academically and in practice—have largely proceeded in isolation from one another.

The project identified and analyzed specific synergies between justice and development, and articulated how these initiatives should be designed and implemented to reinforce shared goals of citizenship, social integration, governance, peacebuilding, and human security.


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The project culminated in the 2009 publication of Transitional Justice and Development: Making Connections, edited by Pablo de Greiff and Roger Duthie. The book is the third in ICTJ's Advancing Transitional Justice, and will be useful for both justice and development practitioners, and academics in a number of fields.

It includes chapters on:

  • Justice and social integration
  • Conceptual pathways for development and transitional justice
  • The political economy of transitions from authoritarianism
  • Truth commissions
  • Reparations
  • Justice-sensitive security sector reform
  • Judicial reform
  • Natural resources
  • Land tenure reform

Three papers published online covered:

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In addition, a briefing paper highlights some of the most important findings of the project, and research briefs for all of the project papers are available.

The transcript of a conversation with Philip Alston, professor of law at NYU School of Law, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, and Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Development Goals, about the project's conclusions, is also available.