Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies  book cover
1st Edition

Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies

ISBN 9780367431815
Published January 14, 2020 by Routledge
206 Pages

USD $49.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Implicit conceptions of time associated with progress and linearity have influenced scholars and practitioners in the fields of transitional justice and peacebuilding, but time and temporality have rarely been systematically considered.

Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies examines how time is experienced, constructed and used in transitional and post-conflict societies. This collection critically questions linear, transitional justice time and highlights the different temporalities that exist at local and institutional levels through original empirical research.

Presenting empirical and often ethnographic research from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Palestine/Israel, Rwanda and South Africa, contributors use a temporal lens to investigate key issues including: transitional justice institutions, peace processes, victimhood, perpetrators, accountability, reparations, forgiveness, reconciliation and memoralisation.

This timely monograph will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, interested in fields such as political science, international relations, anthropology, transitional justice and conflict resolution. It will also be relevant to conflict resolution and peacebuilding practitioners.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors


1. Introduction: Temporal perspectives on transitional and post-conflict societies

Natascha Mueller-Hirth & Sandra Rios Oyola

Part I Questioning transitional justice time

2. Time and Reconciliation. Negotiating with ghosts

Valérie Rosoux

3. Transitional justice time: Uncle San, Aunty Yan, and outreach at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Alexander Laban Hinton

4. Peace Processes and Social Acceleration: The Case of Colombia

Sandra Rios Oyola

Part II Co-existing and conflicting temporalities: institutions and experiences of lived time

5. Anthropological Reflections on Violence and Time in Argentina

Eva van Roekel

6. Negotiating Temporalities of Accountability in Communities in Conflict in Africa

Victor Igreja

7. Still waiting: victim policies, social change and fixed liminality

Natascha Mueller-Hirth

Part III Intergenerational transmission and memorialisation

8. Time to hear the other side: Transitional temporalities and transgenerational narratives in post-genocide Rwanda

Richard Benda

9. Un-Doing Brazil’s dictatorial past

Gisele Iecker De Almeida

10. Ruins, Resistance, and Pluritemporality in Palestine-Israel

Luisa Gandolfo

11. Conclusion: Defusing time bombs: towards an understanding of time and temporality in peacebuilding
Natascha Mueller-Hirth & Sandra Rios Oyola


View More



Natascha Mueller-Hirth is Lecturer in Sociology at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK

Sandra Rios Oyola is Lecturer in International Studies at Leiden University, The Hague, Netherlands


‘The very best social science always exposes a new idea and inaugurates original lines of enquiry leaving us wondering why we had never thought of it before. This volume inaugurates a very original approach to understanding the problem of time in societies emerging from conflict. Transitional justice scholars, specialists in peace processes and in victim studies can learn a great deal from the centrality given to the phenomenon of time in the volume. Transitional time, as we might call it, is theorised and discussed empirically in a rich array of case studies, making the volume essential reading for those whose eyes have now been opened to what was so obvious that we overlooked it in the past.’

John D Brewer, Professor of Post Conflict Studies, Queen’s University Belfast. Author of Peace Processes: A Sociological Approach

‘With detailed case studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, this impressive collection puts time and temporality at the front and center not only of studies of peacebuilding and transitional justice but also, and as importantly, of sociological inquiry at large.’

Javier Auyero, Professor of Sociology, University of Texas, Austin. Author of Patients of the State. The Politics of Waiting in Argentina.

‘Few will contest that issues of time and temporality are central to transitional justice and peace building. However, until recently these issues have received surprisingly little scholarly attention. This book brings a very welcome change to this situation. The volume offers a very rich and innovative collection of essays that are highly relevant for both theoretical analysis and policy making. Strongly recommended to all interested in transitional justice and conflict resolution as well as the sociology or ethnography of time.’

Berber Bevernage, Professor of Historical Theory, Ghent University, Belgium. Author of History, Memory, and State-Sponsored Violence: Time and Justice