Paradoxes and Challenges of Transitional Justice at the 'Local' Level: Historical Enquiries in Northern Ireland

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Abstract

‘Truth’ recovery has become part of a globalized ‘formula’ which transitional justice advocates claim is imperative to conflict transformation. Yet the value of ‘truth’ and efficacy of international ‘truth’ recovery templates has been negatively critiqued. Increasingly, ‘localised’ approaches to memory work are seeking to develop innovative and context specific processes to grapple with these potentially divisive and challenging issues. This article explores how transitional justice discourse has been mediated, strategically adapted and ‘localized’. Using a case study of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) a police-led ‘truth’ recovery process distinctive to Northern Ireland, it examines the paradoxes of transitional justice and the challenges it can generate for states and societies in transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-106
JournalContemporary Social Science
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

Keywords

  • Historical Enquiries

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