Call for PapersTransitional justice: Does it have a future?IJTJ Special Issue 2015
The International Journal of Transitional Justice invites submissions for its 2015 special issueen
Transitional justice: Does it have a future?' to be guest edited by Dean Makau Mutua.It has been more than a quarter of a century since transitional justice burst onto the globalstage. Over the years it has come to be billed as a panacea for addressing deeply embeddedsocial and political dysfunction after periods of mass repression and violence. Many theoristsand policy makers have argued that it is a key bridge to sustainable peace, democracy andhuman rights. But the historical record is not clear about a direct causal relationship betweentransitional justice mechanisms and specific outcomes in postconflict societies. In some cases,truth commissions, criminal prosecutions and other transitional justice interventions appear tohave given society a chance at a new and hopeful beginning. In others, conflicts have either re-emerged or been exacerbated. Which begs the question, is transitional justice the appropriatevehicle for achieving these goals? If it does not always lead to positive outcomes, why not? Arethere conceptual problems and theoretical deficiencies in how we make sense of justice andtransitions that account for the failures? Or is it the translation of transitional justice norms intopractice that is wanting?The big question the 2015 special issue seeks to explore is this: Does transitional justice have afuture, given its mixed record? This issue brings together scholars and actors engaged in thefield of transitional justice to focus on the meaning of the concept, how its application hasevolved and whether it is sustainable as theory and praxis. How defined is the concept of transitional justice? What exactly does it entail and what does it seek to achieve? Are politicaldemocracy, the rule of law and human rights
the pivots of liberalism
the desired end resultsimplicit in transitional justice approaches? If so, why should liberalism be the germ of the newpostconflict society? If transitional justice promotes liberalism, who gains and who loses if itsucceeds? How would liberalism address deeply rooted cultural, colonial and ethnic rivalriesand inequities? Would structures of deep inequity be vanquished by these norms? Or does thisconception of transitional justice exacerbate conflicts as it seeks to transform societies? Whopays for transformation? What about market forces and norms
do they fuel or containconflict?If existing transitional justice concepts are inadequate to recover, or reclaim, societies sickenedby violence and repression, are there alternatives? If so, how do those alternatives comparewith present conceptualizations of transitional justice? Should the term
itself be discarded? This special issue will openly tackle these questions through both new andestablished voices, with a particular emphasis on thinkers and actors from the global South. Itseeks contributions that are unbounded by existing thinking. The idea is to advance the debateon transitional justice by re-examining core assumptions and plowing new intellectual ground.