Navigating colonial debris: structural challenges for Colombia’s peace accord

Claire Wright, Bill Rolston, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, interest has grown in how Transitional Justice (TJ) can approach colonial harms and their long-lasting effects, because of a lacuna in both TJ practice and academic research . Scant attention has been paid, particularly, to how peace processes themselves can be undermined by ongoing colonial legacies. In this article, we offer an in-depth case study on Colombia, particularly the Havana Peace Accord of 2016, and discuss how the debris – to use Stoler’s term – of Spanish colonialism relating to land, ethnicity and gender have become evident throughout the process: during the negotiations, in the campaigns prior to the referendum, and while undertaking its implementation. We argue that peace processes must account for ongoing harms rooted in colonial projects; in the first instance, to provide structural justice for those who suffer these harms in a broader sense and, also, to protect the specific aims of the peace process in question.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Early online date24 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 24 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This publication is based on activities and research supported by the GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub. We are grateful to Kimberly Theidon and Pascha Bueno-Hansen for their very insightful comments on a previous version of this article, and for the support of our colleagues at Universidad de los Andes.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Colombia
  • Colonialism
  • Havana peace accord
  • peace process


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