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© 2020

Transitional Justice in Comparative Perspective

Preconditions for Success

  • Samar El-Masri
  • Tammy Lambert
  • Joanna R. Quinn
Book

Part of the Memory Politics and Transitional Justice book series (MPTJ)

About this book

Introduction

What if we could change the conditions in post-conflict/post-authoritarian countries to make transitional justice work better? This book argues that if the context in countries in need of transitional justice can be ameliorated before processes of transitional justice are established, they are more likely to meet with success. As the contributors reveal, this can be done in different ways. At the attitudinal level, changing the broader social ethos can improve the chances that societies will be more receptive to transitional justice. At the institutional level, the capacity of mechanisms and institutions can be strengthened to offer more support to transitional justice processes. Drawing on lessons learned in Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Uganda, the book explores ways to better the conditions in post-conflict/post-authoritarian countries to improve the success of transitional justice. 

Samar El-Masri is Adjunct Professor at both the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction at The University of Western Ontario and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. 

Tammy Lambert is Researcher in Political Science and Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction at The University of Western Ontario. 

Joanna R. Quinn is Director of the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction at The University of Western Ontario.

This book emerges from the research program of the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction at The University of Western Ontario.

Keywords

transitional justice reconciliation human rights interventions land rights ethnic recognition conflict resolution democratic uncertainty

Editors and affiliations

  • Samar El-Masri
    • 1
  • Tammy Lambert
    • 2
  • Joanna R. Quinn
    • 3
  1. 1.The University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.The University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.The University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

About the editors

Samar El-Masri is Adjunct Professor at both the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction at The University of Western Ontario and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. 

Tammy Lambert is Researcher in Political Science and Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction at The University of Western Ontario. 

Joanna R. Quinn is Director of the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction at The University of Western Ontario.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“Underpinned by an inherent sense of optimism, this book goes beyond simply identifying the obstacles to successful transitional justice processes to make a positive contribution to thinking about how those obstacles might be overcome. It is an important and timely addition to the growing literature on success in the study and practice of transitional justice.” (Professor Renée Jeffery, Griffith University) 

“On the vital question of when transitional justice works, this volume takes research in a new direction. In addition to the design of mechanisms themselves, it effectively demonstrates that nature of the institutions and attitudes present at the time are equally crucial for their success or failure. Moreover, rather than just showing that context matters, the authors illustrate ways in which these pre-conditions can be changed to improve the prospects of transitional justice efforts, providing clear guidance for policymakers.” (Andrew G. Reiter, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations, Mount Holyoke College)

“Beginning from the understanding that the quality of a transitional justice process depends on the conditions in which it is created, this volume seeks to ask what those conditions are and how they can be fostered. By examining how to impact both attitudes and institutions in transitional states the contributions to this book interrogate through conceptually-framed empirical case studies what contextual conditions make transitional justice work, or at least work better. The scholarship here represents a contribution that emphasizes the need for researchers and practitioners to expand their temporal interest to address not only the past in terms of a history of violations and the future in terms of ensuring non-recurrence, but to focus very much on changing the present to maximize the potential of transitional justice. In so doing it tells us about transitional justice more broadly, in terms of what makes process effective and how the change it seeks to drive can be made to 'stick'.” (Simon Robins, Transitional Justice Researcher and Practitioner)