Reducing the Expectation Gap

  • Ray NicksonEmail author
  • Alice Neikirk
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


Current approaches to managing expectations are ad hoc, reactive, and top-down. While this is appropriate for certain expectations, it is inappropriate for others. This chapter outlines a normative theory for the management of expectations in transitional justice. It suggests a three-step process to address the expectation problem. The first step builds upon and improves current expectation management strategies. In order to manage expectations top-down it is necessary to identify expectations, what constitutes the gap, and the institutional problem that has contributed to the gap. Step two is to develop shared aims among stakeholders from the earliest stages when seeking justice after conflict. The third and final step recommends that we conceive of justice after conflict more broadly, deeply and longer. Broadening justice is about a more holistic and multidimensional understanding of justice. Deeper justice is a more inclusive and empowering justice. Finally, longer justice responds to the expectations that are disappointed because justice initiatives attempt to begin and end their efforts in usually short time frames. These will require more proactive efforts, as opposed to the reactive approach that currently dominates.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fresno Pacific UniversityFresnoUSA
  2. 2.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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