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The Era of Transitional Justice: The Aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and Beyond explores a broad set of issues raised by political transition and transitional justice through the prism of the South African TRC.
South Africa constitutes a powerful case study of the enduring structural legacies of a troubled past, and of both the potential and limitations of transitional justice and human rights as agents of transformation in the contemporary era. South Africa’s story has wider relevance because it helped to launch constitutional human rights and transitional justice as global discourses; as such, its own legacy is to some extent writ large in post-authoritarian and post-conflict contexts across the world.
Based on a decade of research, and in an analysis that is both comparative and interdisciplinary, Paul Gready maintains that transitional justice needs to do more to address structural violence - and in particular poverty, inequality and social and criminal violence - as these have emerged as stubborn legacies from an oppressive or war-torn past in many parts of the world.Organised around four central themes - new keyword conceptualisation (truth, justice, reconciliation); re-imagining human rights; engaging with the past and present; remaking the public sphere - it is an argument that will be of considerable relevance to those interested in the law and politics of transitional societies.