The Hidden Face of Justice: Fairness, Discrimination and Distribution in Transitional Justice Processes
32 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 2, 2013
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: Suggested Citation