The Hidden Face of Justice: Fairness, Discrimination and Distribution in Transitional Justice Processes

33 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2013 Last revised: 4 May 2015

See all articles by Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

Universidad de Los Andes

Andres Casas Casas

World Values Survey

Nathalie Mendez

Coordinator Centro Nacional de Memoria Historica

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 4, 2013

Abstract

This article contributes to the literature on the impact of transitional justice measures using microfoundational evidence from experiments. We argue that there is a distributional dilemma at the heart of transitional justice programs, given that the State must allocate goods and services both to victims and ex-combatants. Individual and social preferences over these processes matter, given that they are likely to scale up to undermine or increase public support for transitional justice programs. We offer evidence from the Colombian case, to show what we call the hidden face of justice effect, which occurs when in the transition from war to peace distributional dilemmas arise and generate a social sanction function that creates negative incentives that can affect the achievement of reintegration of ex-combatants and jeopardizes the maintenance of peace. In order to explore the microfoundations that underlie the differences between allocations to victims and ex-combatants, we use a database built by Cárdenas et. al (2008) and find that ex-combatants expect lower transfers from public officers and indeed receive lower transfers, if compared to the victims and the control groups included in the study, despite the fact that third-party observers have the power to punish senders when making offers seen by the third-party as unfair.

Keywords: Transitional justice, fairness, field experiments, third-party punishment game

JEL Classification: C93, D03, D63, D64, D74, H56

Suggested Citation

Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo and Casas Casas, Andres and Mendez, Nathalie, The Hidden Face of Justice: Fairness, Discrimination and Distribution in Transitional Justice Processes (August 4, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2305836 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2305836

Juan-Camilo Cárdenas (Contact Author)

Universidad de Los Andes ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia
339-4949 ext. 2473 (Phone)

Andres Casas Casas

World Values Survey ( email )

Colombia

Nathalie Mendez

Coordinator Centro Nacional de Memoria Historica ( email )

Bogota
Colombia
5717965060 (Phone)

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