Theorizing Transitional Justice
Claudio Corradetti, European Academy of Bolzano
Nir Eisikovits, Suffolk University, Boston
Jack Rotondi, Suffolk University, Boston
The field of Transitional Justice – the interdisciplinary study of how countries emerge from civil strife and mass atrocity – has grown exponentially in recent years.
From the painful tradeoffs between peace and justice involved in the work of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to the surprising success of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia; from Rwanda’s innovative, controversial experiment in traditional criminal justice to the recent prominent indictments made by the International Criminal Court in the Hague – the field offers one of the most fascinating and politically important opportunities for scholars and practitioners to combine their insights and shape international norms of conduct. Nevertheless, actual transitional justice practices often fail to take a broad, systemic approach to political repair. For instance, while retributive justice measures play a crucial role in addressing past human rights abuses, when these measures are not supplemented by further initiatives reconstructing the social texture, their efficacy in promoting a transition to civil society remains questionable. Indeed, the study of transitional justice itself suffers from a similar shortcoming and remains significantly under-theorized. Few attempts have been made to explore the theoretical questions and conceptual problems that cut across the different disciplinary inquiries.
The purpose of this volume is to contribute to this important conceptual effort and to generate at least the contours of a theory of transitional justice. We invite philosophers, political theorists, lawyers, historians and other theoretically-minded scholars and practitioners to submit abstracts pertaining, broadly, to the themes listed below:
- The genealogy of transitional justice (how the field emerged as a field, how central concepts developed)
- The nature of transitional justice (how it is different or the same as other forms of justice)
- The scope of transitional justice (after war, during war, in a functioning democracy, inter-state, intra-state)
- Methodological questions in transitional justice (types of contributions from the humanities, social sciences)
- Instruments of transitional justice: normative and political considerations re war crime tribunals, truth commissions, administrative purges, reparations, historical commissions
- The purpose and impact of transitional justice (do policies of transitional justice have a goal? Set of goals? Are some goals more appropriate than others?) How do we assess the success of policies of transitional justice?
- The dilemmas of transitional justice (peace vs. justice etc.)
- Skeptical considerations: are there cases when transitional justice is best abandoned/not taken up?
- Transitional Justice as an emerging norm of international conduct: a harbinger of cosmopolitan world order?
Contributors are invited to submit a 250-500 word abstract by September 15, 2012 to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a brief bio paragraph.
The editors will collect selected abstracts into a proposal to publishers, with writing commitments due by September 15, 2013.