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Identity, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice: Overcoming Intractability analyses how the mechanisms of transitional justice have a part to play in promoting reconciliation and sustainable peace in transitional societies: helping social groups deeply divided by past violence to overcome existing antagonisms and to build more positive relationships with one another.
Whilst there is an emerging consensus that a causal link does exist between transitional justice, reconciliation, and sustainable peace, to date the actual processes underlying this relationship have been left undertheorized and largely unspecified. This theoretical gap is attributable, at least in part, to the very limited dialogue between transitional justice scholars and the growing number of conflict transformation theorists from the related disciplines of political science, conflict resolution, and social psychology. In particular, recent conflict transformation work highlights the central role that group or 'collective' identities play in the commission and perpetuation of ethnonational violence, and suggests the need to transform these identities and their antagonistic relationships in order to advance societal reconciliation and sustainable peace.
Drawing upon an interdisciplinary synthesis of transitional justice and conflict transformation literatures, and addressing the different interventions adopted in the deeply divided societies of South Africa and Northern Ireland, this book outlines an innovative framework that traces the complex linkages between identity, transitional justice, and intergroup reconciliation in deeply divided post-conflict environments. It will be of considerable interest to those working in the area of transitional justice.