1st Edition

Identity, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice Overcoming Intractability in Divided Societies

By Nevin Aiken Copyright 2013
    288 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Identity, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice: Overcoming Intractability analyses how the mechanisms of transitional justice have a part to play in promoting reconciliation and sustainable peace in transitional societies: helping social groups deeply divided by past violence to overcome existing antagonisms and to build more positive relationships with one another. Whilst there is an emerging consensus that a causal link does exist between transitional justice, reconciliation, and sustainable peace, to date the actual processes underlying this relationship have been left undertheorized and largely unspecified. This theoretical gap is attributable, at least in part, to the very limited dialogue between transitional justice scholars and the growing number of conflict transformation theorists from the related disciplines of political science, conflict resolution, and social psychology. In particular, recent conflict transformation work highlights the central role that group or ‘collective’ identities play in the commission and perpetuation of ethnonational violence, and suggests the need to transform these identities and their antagonistic relationships in order to advance societal reconciliation and sustainable peace. Drawing upon an interdisciplinary synthesis of transitional justice and conflict transformation literatures, and addressing the different interventions adopted in the deeply divided societies of South Africa and Northern Ireland, this book outlines an innovative framework that traces the complex linkages between identity, transitional justice, and intergroup reconciliation in deeply divided post-conflict environments. It will be of considerable interest to those working in the area of transitional justice.

    Chapter 1: Identity, Reconciliation, and Transitional Justice; Chapter 2: A Social Learning Model of Transitional Justice; Chapter 3: Decentralized Transitional Justice in Northern Ireland; Chapter 4: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Insights and Implications for Transitional Justice


    Nevin T. Aiken is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Global and Area Studies at the University of Wyoming. He researches and teaches in the areas of transitional justice, genocide studies, peace and conflict studies and international relations.

    This book offers both scholars and practitioners an overview of recent literature in transitional justice and reconciliation, but also a timely contribution of a theoretical framework that can be used in the context of post-conflict societies when instituting policies. Further, it applies the theoretical framework and offers a wealth of empirical data on the transitional justice approaches in Northern Ireland and in South Africa.
    - Dženeta Karabegović, University of Warwick