Research Brief

4/20/2011

In Sierra Leone, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process and transitional justice initiatives occurred in temporal proximity. Disarmament and demobilization were largely successful in Sierra Leone. Some research suggests, however, that accountability measures had a negative impact on the reintegration of certain ex-combatants.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 13:22

4/20/2011

While Rwanda has gone further than any other post-conflict state in prosecuting lower-level perpetrators for mass atrocity through the Gacaca courts, transitional justice mechanisms were deliberately kept separate from the DDR program. On one hand, DDR largely succeeded despite a firm policy against amnesty. On the other hand, ex-combatants have benefited from quite generous DDR packages; yet, there are no funds available for reparations to their victims.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 13:17

4/20/2011

In situations of large scale violence and repression, reparations are best conceptualized as rights-based political projects aimed at giving victims due recognition and at enhancing civic trust both among citizens and between citizens and state institutions. This paper explores, in the light of two case studies, some of the goals, expectations and limitations of reparations as means of redressing identity-based injustice and setting the terms for a more just political order.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:57

4/20/2011

Truth commissions can provide a stage for a potentially powerful encounter with the past (and present) at the level of public discourse. While their capacity to effect transformation in societies marked by patterns of identity-related marginalization and exclusion is limited (and the expectation that they should do so is unrealistic), their engagement with citizenship issues in particular can open significant discursive space for new public positions and forms of agency.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:56

4/20/2011

The framework of transitional justice, originally devised to facilitate reconciliation in countries undergoing transitions from authoritarianism to democracy, is increasingly used to respond to certain types of human rights violations against indigenous peoples -- even in cases where there is no regime transition. This paper outlines some of the potential complexities involved in processing indigenous demands for justice through a transitional justice framework, through a case study of Canadian initiatives.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:54

4/20/2011

Within education, history may be the discipline that is most inherently conservative, as it has traditionally been the venue in which group cohesion and patriotism have been inculcated. In deeply divided societies, particularly after identity-based conflicts, history is a particularly problematic subject. Yet, changes in the ways that groups are portrayed in textbooks and classrooms can promote truth-telling and acknowledgment, and can be a distinct dimension of moral repair in the wake of mass atrocity.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:43

4/20/2011

In societies scarred by ethnic animosity or religious intolerance, one goal of transitional justice is to help reshape identities, and to strengthen a sense of shared identity related to common membership in the national political community. This nation-building function of transitional justice is a delicate task in any context, but it is particularly fraught with danger when a country undergoing a democratic transition contains a strongly mobilized minority nationalist movement.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:41

4/20/2011

Many of the situations that transitional justice has been called upon to address involve wholesale attacks on minority communities. MIP rights may be -- and in some cases have been -- articulated to strengthen claims for transitional justice, and produce outcomes in transitional justice processes that contribute to more effective and sustainable justice and reconciliation.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:40

4/20/2011

In societies split dysfunctionally and violently along evident identity fault lines, the challenge of guaranteeing security requires not piecemeal reform of police and/or military organizations, but a holistic, "whole of governance" approach. How different identities are recognized and accommodated in terms of garnering support for the SSR process through the design and implementation of specific reforms can be central to the legitimacy and success of the SSR project.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:39

4/20/2011

The social dynamics of ethnic identities is a huge subject. This article narrows the issue by looking specifically at ethnic conflict. It surveys for a transitional justice audience the key factors driving ethnic conflict, and describes some of the more well-known methods of addressing those factors. The goal is to adapt, for the purposes of transitional justice, what has been learned from the extensive body of existing research on ethnic conflict.

Date published: 
Mon, 06/01/2009 - 10:29

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