The Crusade of Transitional Justice Tracing the Journeys of Hegemonic Claims

Jamar, Astrid. (2019) The Crusade of Transitional Justice Tracing the Journeys of Hegemonic Claims in Violence and Democracy, The British Academy, UK.



Engaging with Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), this paper reviews the crusade of transitional justice by tracing the journeys of problematic claims across the world. Building on original empirical material, I document the dissemination of specific set of claims as well as their hegemonic functions through a systematic review of the transitional justice provisions contained in all peace agreements signed since 1990. I centre on the epistemic violence perpetuated through such normative crusade. The crusade and limitation of disseminated claims neglect the inevitable arguments about the past, frictions between legal ‘global standards,’ the resulting technocratic practices and the often-silenced politicised negotiations taking place through transitional justice practices. Gradually, the consolidation of hegemonic approaches took over institutional debates addressing legacies of mass violence and, consequently, silencing certain types of violence. In other words, I argue that transitional justice is simultaneously: 1) an increasingly normative and technocratic field that claims to deal with legacies of violent pasts for democratic futures, 2) a set of processes that silences normative and discursive battles about a violent past and perpetuates epistemic violence.

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