The Limits of Punishment: Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism

ISBN: 978-92-808-9042-6

32 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2020

See all articles by Ronald C. Slye

Ronald C. Slye

Seattle University School of Law; Independent

Date Written: 2018


This paper draws upon the empirical evidence of three country case studies -- Nigeria (Boko Haram), Iraq (IS/Daesh), and Somalia (Al Shabaab) -- to provide a framework to assist national policymakers and their international partners in developing alternative, and more effective, responses to individuals accused of association with violent extremist groups. It offers a pragmatic framework for understanding how well-tailored transitional justice can contribute to more viable transitions away from conflict in settings confronted by such groups. This paper is part of a series commissioned by the Institute For Integrated Transitions ( and the Centre for Policy Research at the United Nations University ( The case studies and other related publications may be found at the websites of both of these sponsoring organizations. The project of which this paper is a part gave rise to three additional case studies on negotiations with violent extremist groups: Uganda and the LRA; Libya and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group; and Afghanistan and the Taliban. These latter case studies, combined with this paper and the research supporting it, resulted in the paper, "Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism - An Original Policy Framework," written by Ronald C. Slye, and also found here on SSRN and on the website of the Institute For Integrated Transitions.

Keywords: countering violent extremism, transitional justice, conflict resolution, amnesty, truth commissions, reparations, counter-terrorism

Suggested Citation

Slye, Ronald C. and Slye, Ronald C., The Limits of Punishment: Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism (2018). ISBN: 978-92-808-9042-6, Available at SSRN:

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