1st Edition

Transformative Justice Remedying Human Rights Violations Beyond Transition

By Matthew Evans Copyright 2018
    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    Transitional justice mechanisms employed in post-conflict and post-authoritarian contexts have largely focused upon individual violations of a narrow set of civil and political rights, as well as the provision of legal and quasi-legal remedies, such as truth commissions, amnesties and prosecutions. In contrast, this book highlights the significance of structural violence in producing and reproducing rights violations. The book further argues that, in order to remedy structural violations of human rights, there is a need to utilise a different toolkit from that typically employed in transitional justice contexts. The book sets out and applies a definition of transformative justice as expanding upon, and providing an alternative to, transitional justice. Focusing on a comparative study of social movements, nongovernmental organisations and trade unions working on land and housing rights in South Africa, and their network relationships, the book argues that networks of this kind make an important contribution to processes advancing transformative justice.

    Table of contents

    Lists of tables and figures



    List of abbreviations

    1. Introduction
    2. Introduction

      Background and context

      Transitional justice and transformative justice in South Africa

      Land and housing

      Advocacy networks

      Action taken by networks

      Structure, composition, capacity and resources

      Positioning of NGOs, trade unions and social movements in South Africa

      Aims and objectives of the book



      Political responsibility

      Research design

      Case study research

      Limits of case study research

      The case study in this book

      Case selection and purpose

      Research strategy

      Research tools and methods

      Use of sociograms

      Scope and contribution of the study

      Structure of the book

    3. Structural violence, socioeconomic rights and transformative justice
    4. Introduction

      Structural violence and shortcomings of transitional justice

      Structural violence

      Critique of transitional justice

      Defining transformative justice

      Applying concepts to the case study of South Africa

      Relevant actors and relationships for a transformative approach


    5. Network relationships, existing ties and opportunities
    6. Introduction

      The case study network

      Interpreting data on network relationships

      Mapping the network diagrammatically

      Interrogating assumptions from the literature

      Boomerangs and spirals

      Framing, expertise and venue shopping

      Key findings from mapping the network

      What kinds of ties already exist?

      The Housing Assembly

      The Poor People’s Alliance

      Ties between both clusters

      What threats to and opportunities for more effective collaboration exist?

      Specific characteristics of trade unions

      Capacity and resources of social movements and community based organisations

      Personalities, politics and organisational governance

      Shared rhetorical commitments


    7. Threats, limitations and political responsibilities in the network
    8. Introduction

      The Housing Assembly and the Poor People’s Alliance

      Dividing political arenas

      Agenda setting and strategy building

      Raising and allocating financial resources


      Formalisation of relationships

      Transformative justice and political responsibilities of the network

      Dividing political arenas

      Agenda setting and strategy building

      Raising and allocating financial resources


      Formalisation of relationships


    9. Transformative justice processes, policies and practice
    10. Introduction

      The scope for transformative justice policies, practices and processes in South Africa

      Lessons for understanding the potential for transformative justice policies and practices

      Mapping participation in the case study network

      Relationships within the case study network

      Evaluating political responsibility of the case study network


      Processes of transformative justice

      Outcomes and resources

      Political responsibility and transformative justice

    11. Conclusion


    The importance of power and of political responsibilities

    Lessons for research and practice

    Key contributions of the book

    What this book does not do

    Concluding remarks



    Matthew Evans is a Teaching Fellow in Law, Politics and Sociology at the School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, and Visiting Researcher in Political Studies at the School of Social Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.