Dealing with the Past - Exchange and Reflect


The crisis of transitional justice: an opportunity for history work

Constantin Goschler

Transitional justice is in crisis. With the end of “the West”, not only has it lost its normative frame of reference; it is also accused of being a project of the cosmopolitan elite. Transitional justice actors must therefore defend and justify its values with credibility. History work should make use of the potential afforded by public history.

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Women, gender and transitional justice

14. Aug. 2019
Susanne Buckley-Zistel

The German Government should pursue a transitional justice policy that focuses on women, and which not only increases the number of women in relevant institutions but also addresses women-specific abuses. It should recognise and support its potential to make a small contribution to more gender-equitable societies.

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There Are More Than Victims and Former Combatants

Ljubinka Petrovic-Ziemer

In transitional justice contexts, court verdicts often do not enjoy universal acceptance. Thus, Germany should promote the interplay between judicial and non-judicial mechanisms to increase trust in the judgements. Also, the German approach has to overcome the binary of victims and perpetrators and foster the public participation of a much broader spectrum of actors in transitional justice processes.

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One Process: Tackling the Past and Reckoning With the Future

Nenad Vukosavljević

In post-war societies, ex-combatants and victims associations – from all sides of the conflict – enjoy high credibility. Instead of regarding them as potential spoilers of the peacebuilding process, the German government should support cooperation with these groups to bridge the gap between opposing war legacies, search for joint ways to face the violent past, and prevent the recurrence of war.

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Thinking Big About Transitional Justice

31. Jul. 2019
Pablo de Greiff

With its expertise on SSR, rule of law and development, Germany is in an ideal position to strengthen the transitional justice agenda. For its new strategy, the key will be to enable effective links between these fields and to help articulate an effective prevention framework.

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About this Blog

With this blog, we are continuing the dialogue on selected “dealing with the past” issues that began with the PeaceLab-Blog. This new FriEnt blog is aimed at German development organisations and their international partners and at professionals working on dealing with the past and democracy-building in Germany. 


Issues

Transitional Justice is a professionalised and internationally accepted policy field. But do its implicit and explicit foundations still hold good? Which of its underlying assumptions, patterns of thinking or practices should be critically reviewed?

a. Peacebuilding requires the integration of conflicting narratives. To that end, these narratives must be transformed/made “fit for peace”. How can this be achieved?
b. How can diverse perspectives be made visible in social discourse – or in a museum? What is the connecting element in this diversity? How can relativism and arbitrariness be excluded?

Transitional Justice is value-oriented and aims to help build sustainably peaceful and just societies. What do we know about its real impacts?

Transitional Justice sees itself as genuinely preventive. What can be done to strengthen its prevention capacities?

a. Gender in practice is primarily associated with the integration of women and their perspectives in processes and institutions. Which challenges need to be resolved through practical action?
b. Which other topics that can be addressed through TJ measures lend themselves to consideration through a gender lens?

 a. Which opportunities are opened up by the digitalisation of memory? What can be done to minimise risks and avert hazards?
b. How can knowledge and narratives about the past reach the general public?

Those born afterwards bear no direct responsibility. They may choose to ignore history or identify with perpetrators or victims. What can be done to awaken young people’s interest in history and motivate them to engage in building peaceful relations between communities?

Please feel free to suggest a new discussion topic in your blog post, such as issues relating to experience with Transformative Justice, reparation programmes, dealing with perpetrators and much more.

Rules/ Netiquette

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