What is a Truth Commission and Why Does it Matter?

Peace and Conflict Review, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 1-14, Spring 2009

15 Pages Posted: 19 May 2010

Date Written: May 1, 2009

Abstract

There is a growing body of comparative research that seeks to produce empirical evidence and, thereby, contribute to policy debates on the relative merits of truth commissions. However, these efforts have been plagued by a lack of attention to case selection. The lack of consensus on what constitutes the universe of truth commission cases has contributed to a pattern of inconclusive, inconsistent findings. This article reviews the empirical literature and finds over 70 potential truth commission cases. After examining some of the reasons behind such disagreement, I offer Freeman’s (2006) typology of investigative commissions as the best suited to advance research in the field.

Keywords: Truth Commissions, Impact, Evaluation

Suggested Citation

Wiebelhaus-Brahm, Eric, What is a Truth Commission and Why Does it Matter? (May 1, 2009). Peace and Conflict Review, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 1-14, Spring 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1611719

Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas at Little Rock ( email )

2801 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204
United States

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