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Deconstructing Transitional Justice

Turner, C.

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Transitional justice as a field of inquiry is a relatively new one. Referring to the range of mechanisms used to assist the transition of a state or society from one form of (usually repressive) rule to a more democratic order, transitional justice has become the dominant language in which the move from war to peace is discussed in the early twenty-first century. Applying a deconstructive analysis to the question of transitional justice, the paper seeks to interrogate the core assumptions that underlie transitional justice literature in relation to the relationship between law, politics and justice. As a discourse, transitional justice is replete with antinomies or binary oppositions, that of war and peace being the most obvious. Therefore the essentially deconstructible structure of differánce already exists within the concept. By examining the ways in which legal and political narratives are framed and reproduced, the paper seeks to deconstruct the opposition between law and politics on which much of the transitional justice literature rests. The article does not purport to provide a definitive critical analysis of transitional justice but aims to provoke debate and to prompt critical scholars to engage with the themes raised by providing an introductory analysis of some of the core features of a field of inquiry which seems ripe for deconstruction.


Turner, C. (2013). Deconstructing Transitional Justice. Law and Critique, 24(2), 193-209.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 1, 2013
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2013
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2015
Journal Law and Critique
Print ISSN 0957-8536
Electronic ISSN 1572-8617
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 193-209
Keywords Deconstruction, Justice, Law, Politics, Transitional justice, Violence.


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