Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding
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Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding

Edited by Nicolas Lemay-Hébert

This innovative Handbook offers a new perspective on the cutting-edge conceptual advances that have shaped – and continue to shape – the field of intervention and statebuilding.
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Chapter 18: Mapping the nexus of transitional justice and peacebuilding

Catherine Baker and Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik

Abstract

This chapter explores the convergences and divergence between transitional justice and peacebuilding, by considering some of the recent developments in scholarship and practice. We examine the notion of ‘peace’ in transitional justice and the idea of ‘justice’ in peacebuilding. We highlight that transitional justice and peacebuilding often engage with similar or related ideas, though the scholarship on in each field has developed, largely, in parallel to each other, and often without any significant engagement between the fields of inquiry. We also note that both fields share other commonalities, insofar as they often neglect questions of capital (political, social, economic) and at times, gender. We suggest that trying to locate the nexus in the first place draws attention to where peace and justice have actually got to be produced in order for there not to be conflict and violence. This in turn demonstrates that locally, ‘peace’ and ‘justice’ do not always look like the ‘peace’ and ‘justice’ drawn up by international donors and peacebuilders; and, despite the ‘turn to the local’ in international relations, it is surprising just how many local and everyday dynamics are (dis)missed as sources of peace and justice, or potential avenues of addressing the past.

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