Project Summary: This comparative research project examines justice outside of the formal state systems, on the borders between countries and during transitions in Africa. In the past few decades, increasing amounts of attention and resources have been given to national reconciliation and transitional justice, as is evident in the increased inclusion of these in mediation processes and peace agreements. There are long and difficult debates between local governments and the international community concerning what mechanisms should be adopted, as was evident in, for example, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda and more recently, the Democratic Republic of Conogo, Burundi and Zimbabwe. Yet, a lot of uncertainty remains about these processes and mechanisms, how they work and their actual contribution to peacebuilding.
This project straddles the Transboundary Governance, Security Governance and Governance of the Commons axes of GovInn and addresses three major challenges to reconciliation and transitional justice:
- The lack of empirical research related to how particular national reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms impact peacebuilding in local communities
- The difficulty of balancing adherence to ‘international norms’ with the needs of local governments and communities
- The fact that many conflicts occur across borders whereas reconciliation and transitional justice is imagined only within the nation-state.
Junior researchers: Anthony Bizos, Chenai Matshaka, Rebeka Gluhbegovic, Zefanias Matsimbe
Funding: CODESRIA and the University of Pretoria’s Research Development Programme
Funding period: May 2015 – July 2019