What are Transitions For? Atrocity, International Criminal Justice, and the Political

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Abstract
This essay offers an answer to the question of what societies afflicted by atrocities ought to transition into. The answer offered is able to better direct the evaluation of previous models and the design of new models of transitional justice. Into what, then, should transitional justice transition? I argue in this essay that transitional justice should be a transition into the political, understood in its robust liberalism version. I further argue that the most significant part of transitions ought to happen in the minds of the members of political communities, precisely where the less tangible and yet most important dimension of the political sets root. Both of these points are missing in transitional justice models and debates. In the current scenario of transitional justice models and debates, transitional justice practices and processes, as well as the normative forms of discourse that accompany them, fail to fully take the political as an end, thus failing in both transition and justice.
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Archival date: 2017-01-11
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