Beyond the Post-Conflict Checklist: Linking Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice Through the Lens of Critique
Dustin N. Sharp
University of San Diego - School of Peace Studies
March 27, 2012
14 Chicago Journal of International Law 165 (2013)
While historically seen as being in competition with the demands of peace, transitional justice is increasingly accepted as an important element of post-conflict peacebuilding. Along with the demobilization and disarmament of ex-combatants, security sector reform, rule of law programs, and elections, it has now joined a virtual checklist of post-conflict interventions spearheaded by the international community in post-conflict countries. This increasingly shared space between transitional justice and post-conflict peacebuilding initiatives has sparked new interest among both scholars and policy makers in sounding out potential connections between both fields. Although the pursuit of synergies between peacebuilding and transitional justice programs is a worthwhile goal, I argue that in developing these connections, we must also be keenly attentive to mutual shortcomings. Transitional justice and post-conflict peacebuilding have historically proceeded on separate tracks, yet there has been a remarkable similarity in the critiques and concerns that have been leveled against both fields in the last two decades. There are strong reasons to suspect that more integrated approaches to peacebuilding and transitional justice will have the tendency to exacerbate some of the tendencies that have given rise to these parallel critiques rather than alleviate them. Seeking synergies and overlaps through the optics of these historic concerns and critiques could be one technique of resistance to these tendencies, leading to the development of innovative techniques for building peace with justice in conflict’s wake.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Keywords: Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, DDR, SSR
Date posted: March 28, 2012 ; Last revised: September 26, 2013
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