Table of Contents

The Handbook on the Political Economy of War

The Handbook on the Political Economy of War

Elgar original reference

Edited by Christopher J. Coyne and Rachel L. Mathers

By defining political economy and war in the broadest sense, this unique Handbook brings together a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars from economics, political science, sociology, and policy studies to address a multitude of important topics. These include an analysis of why wars begin, how wars are waged, what happens after war has ceased, and the various alternatives to war. Other sections explore civil war and revolution, the arms trade, economic and political systems, and post-conflict reconstruction and nation building. Policymakers as well as academics and students of political science, economics, public policy and sociology will find this volume to be an engaging and enlightening read.

Chapter 20: Choice and Consequence in Strategies of Transitional Justice

Geoff Dancy

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, political economy, terrorism and security

Extract

Geoff Dancy 20.1 INTRODUCTION More and more, today’s hopes of erasing violent conflict and vitalizing democratic institutions are being pinned on transitional justice.1 “Just as wounds fester when they are not exposed to the open air,” one scholar writes, “so unacknowledged injustice can poison societies and produce cycles of distrust, hatred, and violence” (Kiss 2000, p. 72). However, this viewpoint and the practices to which it alludes are relatively new. Before 1990, only ten countries in the world had prosecuted human rights violators, and only five had formed truth commissions to systematically investigate their pasts. By 2007, these figures had spiked: trials had been initiated for 59 state jurisdictions, and at least one official truth-seeking body had been established in 33 states.2 With these advancements, transitional justice shifted from a narrow area of advocacy to the strategic forefront of transnational democratic state-building, rule of law promotion and postconflict peacebuilding. First used in 1991,3 the term “transitional justice” surfaced at the intersection of two emergent global phenomena: a strengthening human rights regime and the fourth wave of democratization (Aranhövel 2008; Arthur 2009). By the 1980s, moral indignation to repressive tactics like torture, disappearances and political imprisonment reached a fevered pitch, and the international community began to mobilize in response. Democratization, sweeping the world, was a multistaged process – involving destabilization, a transitional sequence and consolidation – shepherded through by decision-making elites (O’Donnell, Schmitter and Whitehead 1986; Karl 2005). Transitional justice designated elites’ efforts to settle accounts for the worst of past...

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