The founding vision of transitional justice as a field of scholarship and practice is normative. Addressing the legacy of human rights violations and war crimes is supposed to reconcile war-torn communities and advance peace. The major challenge for the field has been to support these ‘faith-based’ convictions with ‘fact-based’ knowledge of the consequences of transitional justice initiatives – both positive and negative.
Contributing to these efforts, scholars have responded from different disciplinary perspectives, such as international relations, political science, social psychology, criminology, media studies, as well as arts and humanities. They have been using innovative methods and new data to capture local dynamics and responses in post-conflict societies. This analytical turn to the ‘local’ also captures ‘every day’ dimensions of peacebuilding. Both have emerged as a form of critical re-examination of hitherto mainstream global and top-down approaches to the study of transitional justice mechanisms and their ability to bring justice to societies recovering from conflict.
Aim of workshop
While the workshop will take stock of these developments, its aim is to examine micro-level interactions involving local actors, such as ordinary people, parliamentarians, local human rights activists, artists, victims, and others. It will evaluate comparatively how their engagement with issues related to transitional justice and its different forms and practices promotes or hinders peacebuilding.
The workshop will bring a variety of interactions into the focus of analysis, such as face-to-face interactions in informal conversations or during debates in parliaments, in courts, in school classrooms, on social media, through the artistic practice, and others. The goal is to gain understanding of effects of those interactions on interactants themselves and on wider post-conflict societies. The study of interactions centred on post-conflict justice will also contribute new evidence on every day peacebuilding and explore critically the openings for ‘every day reconciliation’.
The workshop seeks to initiate a discussion based on this shared framework and to encourage a multi-disciplinary discussion and exchange of ideas among scholars from different disciplines, with a particular interest in case studies from different post-conflict societies and regions.
The publication resulting from the workshop will contribute to the accumulation of empirical evidence and evaluation of the impact and outcomes of transitional justice processes.
Paper proposals are encouraged from researchers in all stages of their academic careers, including PhD students and emerging scholars. The papers will be selected by a group of scholars from and outside the LSE.
Abstracts of 500 words and a short biographical paragraph should be submitted. The abstracts must address the topic of the workshop as well as how the argument will be developed and supported with empirical evidence within a shared theoretical framework outlined above. Successful applicants will be expected to prepare advanced drafts for the workshop.
Abstracts should be sent to Dr Denisa Kostovicova at firstname.lastname@example.org, cc-ing Dr Sanja Vico at email@example.com
Deadline for submission of the abstract: 1st December 2021.
Applicants will be informed by 15th December 2021.
LSE, London (provisional date Friday 1 July 2022)
The aim is to hold an in-person workshop at London School of Economics and Political Science, if this is possible in view of the covid-19 related restrictions and regulations. If this is not possible, the workshop will be held online.
Limited funding will be available to contribute to travel and accommodation costs of selected participants.
The workshop is organised within the scope of the research project ‘Justice Interactions and Peacebuilding: From Static to Dynamic Discourses across National, Ethnic, Gender and Age Groups’ (JUSTINT), funded by the European Research Council (ERC, No. 772354).