While guaranteeing the non-recurrence of rights violations is a long-established aim of transitional justice, preventing the recurrence of violent conflict more broadly by addressing past injustice is less understood and more contested. This course will examine how transitional justice can contribute to preventing the recurrence of violent conflict. It will ask a series of questions aimed at unpacking the concept of prevention and exploring its relationship to transitional justice:
- How can transitional justice help to prevent the recurrence of human rights violations, violent conflict, violent extremism, genocide, gender-based violence, displacement, and corruption?
- What are the specific pathways of change—such as removing actors, building/reforming institutions, repairing social relations, increasing trust, addressing root causes, facilitating durable solutions, changing norms—through which addressing the legacies of the past contributes to a more peaceful future?
- What roles do different actors such as the state, civil society, donors, and international organizations play in using justice processes to avoid the return of violence and abuse?
- How do contextual conditions—institutional, political, economic, and cultural—limit or facilitate the effectiveness of transitional justice as an approach to prevention?
- How should measures of accountability, redress, and reform be conceptualized and designed in the aftermath of armed conflict with an eye to averting further violence?
The course will look at practical examples of current, past, and paradigmatic transitional justice processes and their contribution to prevention. Country case studies to be discussed may include Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the former Yugoslavia, and Latin American cases. The aim is to provide course participants with a firm grounding in transitional justice efforts and insight into the challenges and opportunities of helping to avoid the recurrence of violent conflict.
For further information about the course, Intensive Course on Prevention and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence: The Role of Transitional Justice, please follow the link.