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Transitional Justice as a Means of Deliberating the Past

  • Ivor Sokolić
Chapter
Part of the Memory Politics and Transitional Justice book series (MPTJ)

Abstract

The field of transitional justice struggles to explain why the universal human rights norms that trials promote become distorted or undermined when they reach their beneficiaries. The many studies of transitional justice are not in agreement over whether the process helps societies recover from past human rights abuses at all. This chapter outlines a theoretical framework based on a deliberative understanding of transitional justice, which is well-adapted to the study of norm contestation. Trials hold the capability to instigate discursive engagement and contestation among the public through deliberation that involves multiple interpretations of the past. As a mechanism for public debate, trials can therefore change narratives of nationalism. This framework helps unpack norm spillover effects in society and the top-down and bottom-up interactions that determine their efficacy. This helps explain how transitional justice has influenced local and collective understandings of the law and the past in Croatia.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivor Sokolić
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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