Deweyan Pragmatism and the Challenge of Institutionalizing Justice under Transitional Circumstances

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For the past thirty years, the Transitional Justice (TJ) research program has been undergoing a period of transition, simultaneously expanding and consolidating; in one sense, expanding its scope to encompass the measurement of TJ’s impact and the redefinition of ‘transitional’ to include societies afflicted by deep social and economic injustice; and in a second sense, consolidating its practical approach to promoting democracy and peace by developing best practices for institutionalizing TJ. While there have been advances in designing new TJ mechanisms and remedying the concept’s under-theorization, little comparative progress has been made to date in offering a guiding framework for TJ’s push to institutionalize. The thesis of this article is that philosophical pragmatism, specifically Deweyan pragmatism, offers a bevy of resources—a virtual tool-kit—for scholars and practitioners wishing to design TJ-friendly institutions within transitional societies.
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Archival date: 2022-04-25
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