Restorative Justice and Nodal Governance
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 35(1), 1-18, 2011
31 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 22, 2011
To date, the principal emphasis within the restorative justice movement has been on the ways in which its values can guide the system of ‘criminal justice’. In this paper we argue that this institutional focus has limited our ability to recognize ways in which such values are being promoted within forms of governance originating outside of state justice systems. Through an examination of one localized governance model in South Africa, we seek to demonstrate that restorative values are being promoted through distinct goals and mechanisms developed to suit micro-political, cultural and economic realities. We suggest that the need to discover, explain and assess such mechanisms is important to the advancement of the security governance literature, especially in a manner that is both intellectually and practically relevant to societies with deficits in state governance. Our empirical focus is on Peace Committees in South African communities that are operating, in Braithwaite’s terms, as forms of ‘responsive nodal governance’ (Braithwaite, 2008). Our depiction of these Committees raises both explanatory and normative questions that warrant further empirical study. We argue in particular for the advancement of research strategies that privilege the experiences and perceptions of those participating in the transformation of governance at the local level.
Keywords: nodal governance; restorative justice
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation