1st Edition

Delayed Transitional Justice Lessons from Spain, Brazil, and Uruguay

By Mariana S. Mendes Copyright 2024
    264 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book addresses the issue of the timing of transitional justice policies in countries that had negotiated transitions from authoritarianism to democracy.

    Why are transitional justice measures often being implemented decades after the events they refer to? More specifically, what combination of factors leads to the implementation of transitional justice policies at certain moments in time? And, what explains countries’ different choices and trajectories? To address these questions, this book pursues a comparative analysis of three cases: comparing a case of ‘robust’ implementation of transitional justice measures (Uruguay), a case where only victim-centered measures were approved (Spain), and a case that sits in between these two (Brazil). Through an in-depth empirical analysis of these specific country-cases, and focusing on seven different transitional justice initiatives, the book identifies the determinants behind delayed transitional justice policies and explains why such policies are more robust in some settings than in others. In doing so, it provides a holistic account of post-transitional justice outcomes, offering more general conclusions and insights about the study of the drivers of transitional justice.

    This book will appeal to scholars and students of transitional justice in politics, law, and sociology, as well as to policymakers involved in the implementation and administration of transitional justice measures.



    PART I

    Conceptual and theoretical framework

    1 Definition and operationalization of transitional justice: The Transitional Justice Scale

    2 Theoretical framework: A holistic approach to delayed transitional justice


    Transitional justice trajectories in context

    3 Spain: From deliberate forgetting to limited acknowledgment

    4 Uruguay: From blockage to criminal accountability

    5 Brazil: From a marginal issue to the ‘right to truth’


    Comparative analysis 2

    6 Making sense of the timing of transitional justice

    7 Making sense of differences in countries’ trajectories





    Mariana S. Mendes is a post-doctoral researcher at the Mercator Forum for Migration and Democracy, Institute of Political Science, Technical University Dresden, Germany.