Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding on the Ground: Victims and Ex-Combatants (Law, Conflict and International Relations)

BOOK: Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding on the Ground: Victims and Ex-Combatants (Law, Conflict and International Relations)
2.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Transitional Justice and
Peacebuilding on the Ground

This book seeks to refine our understanding of transitional justice and peacebuilding, and long-term security and reintegration challenges after violent conflicts.

As recent events following political change during the so-called “Arab Spring” demonstrate, demands for accountability often follow or attend conflict and political transition. While traditionally much literature and many practitioners highlighted tensions between peacebuilding and justice, recent research and practice demonstrate a turn away from the supposed “peace vs justice” dilemma.

This volume examines the complex relationship between peacebuilding and transitional justice through the lenses of the increased emphasis on victim-centered approaches to justice and the widespread practices of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants. While recent volumes have sought to address either DDR or victim-centered approaches to justice, none has sought to make connections between the two, much less to place them in the larger context of the increasing linkages between transitional justice and peacebuilding.

This book will be of great interest to students of transitional justice, peacebuilding, human rights, war and conflict studies, security studies, and IR.

Chandra Lekha Sriram
is Professor in Law at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK.

Jemima García-Godos
is Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway.

Johanna Herman
is a Research Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict (CHRC), University of East London, UK.

Olga Martin-Ortega
is a Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, University of East London, UK.

Law, Conflict and International Relations Series Editors: Chandra Lekha Sriram, SOAS, Julie Mertus, American University, Karin Aggestam, University of Lund and Lorraine Elliott, Australian National University

This series will bring together cutting-edge, interdisciplinary scholarship on law, conflict, and international politics, encompassing the fields of international criminal law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and law relating to the use of force; conflict prevention and resolution, peacemaking, and peacebuilding; and resort to the use of force.

International Law, Politics and Inhumane Weapons

The effectiveness of global landmine regimes

Alan Bryden

Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding on the Ground

Victims and ex-combatants

Edited by Chandra Lekha Sriram, Jemima García-Godos, Johanna Herman and Olga Martin-Ortega

Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding on the Ground

Victims and ex-combatants

Edited by

Chandra Lekha Sriram,
Jemima García-Godos,
Johanna Herman and Olga Martin-Ortega

First published 2013

by Routledge

2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada

by Routledge

711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

© 2013 selection and editorial material, Chandra Lekha Sriram, Jemima García-Godos, Johanna Herman and Olga Martin-Ortega; individual chapters, the contributors

The right of the editors to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

Trademark notice:
Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Sriram, Chandra Lekha, 1971-

Transitional justice and peacebuilding on the ground : victims and ex-combatants / edited by Chandra Lekha Sriram, Jemima García-Godos, Johanna Herman and Olga Martin-Ortega.

p. cm. – (Law, conflict and international relations)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

1. Transitional justice. 2. Peace-building. 3. War victims – Legal status, laws, etc. 4. Veterans – Legal status, laws, etc. I. Title.

K5250.S65 2013



ISBN: 978-0-415-63759-6 (hbk)

ISBN: 978-0-415-65586-6 (pbk)

ISBN: 978-0-203-08435-9 (ebk)

“Is the pursuit of justice a necessary route to lasting peace in post-conflict settings? Do peace-building efforts routinely undermine durable justice? The editors explode this false dichotomy in their exciting new volume. Drawing on recent experiences from Colombia and Sierra Leone to Lebanon and Uganda they consider the trade-offs routinely confronted by traumatised societies at war’s end. They show how activities often cast as oppositional, in particular restorative justice versus disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, are more closely aligned than assumed.”

Dr. Robert Muggah, Small Arms Survey, Geneva, Switzerland

“Through nuanced case studies guided by a fresh analytical framework, the book manages to convey both the local complexity faced by countries undergoing transition, as well as the common challenges and opportunities. It asks practical questions and provides much food for reflection for both academics and practitioners.”

Hugo van der Merwe, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Johannesburg, South Africa


List of contributors


List of abbreviations



Critical themes

Bridging the gap: The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and the challenges of integrating DDR and transitional justice


Transitional justice and ongoing conflict


Just peace? Integrating DDR and transitional justice


Centralizing legal pluralism? Traditional justice in transitional contexts


Country case studies

Peacebuilding and transitional justice in Cambodia: Attempts at DDR and the rise of victim-centered justice


Unfinished business: Peacebuilding, accountability, and rule of law in Lebanon


Building peace and delivering justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The limits of externally driven processes


Victim-centered justice and DDR in Sierra Leone


Tempering great expectations: Peacebuilding and transitional justice in Liberia


The supposed accountability/peacebuilding dilemma in Uganda


Colombia: Accountability and DDR in the pursuit of peace?


The national accord, impunity, and the fragile peace in Kenya


Conclusions and considerations for practitioners





Stephen Brown
is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His main research interests are foreign aid, democratization, political violence, peacebuilding, and transitional justice, especially in relation to sub-Saharan Africa. He has published widely on various aspects of Kenyan politics. He maintains a website at <

Par Engstrom
(BA UCL, MSc London, DPhil Oxford) is Lecturer in Human Rights at the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK. He is also co-chair of the London Transitional Justice Network. His current research interests focus on regional human rights institutions with a particular reference to the Inter-American human rights system, transitional justice, and the international relations of the Americas.

Jemima García-Godos
(Dr. Polit. Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway) is currently a researcher at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo and the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway. Her research on transitional justice focuses on victim reparations and Latin America. She has published in
the Journal of Latin American Studies, International Journal of Transitional Justice
Nordic Journal of Human Rights

Johanna Herman
is Research Fellow at the Centre of Human Rights in Conflict at the University of East London, UK. Her research includes transitional justice, peacebuilding, human rights and the participation of victims at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. She received her MA in International Affairs from Columbia University’s (NY) School of International and Public Affairs.

Olga Martin-Ortega
is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, University of East London, UK. Her research focuses on the peacebuilding, transitional justice and human rights responsibilities of multinational corporations. She is the author of
Empresas Multinacionales y Derechos Humanos en Derecho Internacional

Rosemary Nagy
is Associate Professor in Gender Equality and Social Justice at Nipissing University in North Bay, Canada. Her research in transitional justice
examines the interactions between local and global processes and norms, including in South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, and Canada. She is co-editor (with Melissa Williams and Jon Elster) of the forthcoming
Transitional Justice
volume of the Nomos Yearbook of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy.

Joanna R. Quinn
is Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and Director of The Africa Institute at The University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her current research considers the utility of customary practices of justice in the acknowledgement of past crimes.

Rosalind Raddatz
is a Trudeau Scholar completing her doctorate at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Her dissertation examines the relative influence of power and resource sharing, civil society, international intervention, and mediation in Sierra Leone and Liberia’s negotiated peace agreements. Other research interests include mass violence/genocide, peacebuilding, institutional accountability, transitional justice, and post-conflict gender issues, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dustin Sharp
is an Assistant Professor at the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, CA. A graduate of Harvard Law School (MA), he formerly served as a researcher at Human Rights Watch, covering Francophone West Africa. His academic work focuses on the role of law in post-conflict reconstruction.

Chandra Lekha Sriram
is Professor of Law at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK. She has written extensively on conflict prevention, transitional justice, international criminal accountability, and peacemaking and peacebuilding. She is the author most recently of
Peace as Governance: Power-Sharing, Armed Groups, and Contemporary Peace Negotiations
(Palgrave, 2008).

BOOK: Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding on the Ground: Victims and Ex-Combatants (Law, Conflict and International Relations)
2.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
Unzipped? by Karen Kendall
A Kind of Truth by Lane Hayes
The Christmas Genie by Dan Gutman, Dan Santat
The Millionaire by Victoria Purman
The Ties That Bind by T. Starnes
Real World by Natsuo Kirino
Fractured by Karin Slaughter