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
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
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