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Transitional Justice in Established Democracies: A Political - download pdf or read online

By Stephen Winter (auth.)

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Most transitional justice scholarship includes the relatively novel truth commission. Why not expect that an indefinite set of processes could be equally acceptable? And finally, a practical approach would be insufficiently selective, struggling to distinguish quotidian criminal and tort exchanges from those activities that are proper to transitional justice. Giving definitional primacy to procedure will not resolve the theoretic problem of difference, it merely reproduces it. An alternative response changes the mode of analysis by replacing the search for common characteristics with the exploration of common genealogical origins.

Authorized injuries are antithetical to the purpose of the state; they are a failure of the state to perform its proper function; therefore they weaken or negate its authority. Because all citizens have reason to want to be subject to legitimate political authority, those failures concern every citizen. 5 Political legitimacy30 This section sets out three conceptions of legitimacy: the sociological, the discursive and the principled. Ultimately, the argument is concerned with the interplay between the second and third conceptions.

Communication is a plausible alternative. Truth commission reports, official apologies and public 32 Transitional Justice in Established Democracies memorials are communicative. They condemn some acts and principles and endorse others. If legitimation requires the citizenry to adopt new attitudes and new political customs, it is appealing to theorize redress as fundamentally hortatory. The expressive roles of transitional justice are important. But they cannot form the basis for an adequate account.

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