Transitional justice and injustice: The uses and misuses of the liberal peace

Cyanne E. Loyle, Christian Davenport

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


As Christine Bell writes in her 2009 overview of the field of transitional justice (TJ), it is unclear whether in practice transitional justice is "‘good’ (an extension of human rights discourse, or necessary for democratization or peace), ‘bad’ (imperialist, hegemonic, impunity serving or promoting a dangerous legal exceptionalism) or a value-neutral tool with which both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ goals can be pursued" (Bell, 2009, p. 6). Despite this uncertainty within the field itself, the existing transitional justice literature and much of the discussion surrounding it throughout the world has proceeded with the assumption that transitional justice is implemented to advance the normatively "good" goals of the liberal peace-namely, (1) promoting truth and reconciliation, (2) preventing the resumption of armed conflict, and (3) increasing democratization and civic participation. While there is no doubt that these are some of the main motivations of the international community as well as the donor agencies that support transitional justice, these need not be the motivations of the implementing governments themselves, and this should cause us some concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Uses and Misuses of Human Rights
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Approach to Advocacy
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781137408341
ISBN (Print)9781137408334
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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