Transitional Justice, Security and Development

This annex can only provide a brief overview of transitional justice measures (§ I), and summarize an argument that clarifies the aims that these measures arguably are designed to seek (§ II). This is important, in turn, in order to clarify the contributions that transitional justice can make to security and development, particularly in the context of fragility. Contrary to misconceptions, particularly on the part of non-experts, transitional justice is neither past-oriented, nor of concern to victims alone; rather, to the extent that it achieves any of its goals, it does so in virtue of its potential to affirm general but basic norms—therein its potential contributions to both security and development. The argument thus is also meant to counter the perception that transitional justice measures hamper development and reconstruction, or that transitional justice is not urgent in the aftermath of the cessation of conflict (§ III). The next section clarifies the ‘mechanisms’ through which transitional justice can be thought to make their contributions to development, emphasizing their norm affirming function, and their (related) potential to disarticulate and articulate networks (§IV). Finally, I close by showing the relevance of the foregoing analysis to the WDR and offer four cautionary notes about the approach it adopts (§V).


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