Source: (2012) Transitional Justice Review. 1(1):54-103.

Reconciliation is one of the most contested concepts in the scholarly debate on transitional justice, and arguably also the most difficult to measure empirically. This paper provides an assessment of current knowledge on the relationships between mechanisms for ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ and the end goal of ‘reconciliation’ in its multiple forms. We first spell out the claims about how to foster reconciliation and about how different mechanisms such as truth commissions, trials and local justice initiatives can be expected to contribute toward this end goal. Next, we take stock of single-case, comparative and broad sample impact studies of reconciliation processes. We conclude that methodological challenges include (1) specifying a concept of reconciliation that is narrow enough to be measurable across cases, and (2) allowing sufficient time to go by before measuring the impact of mechanisms that are postulated to bring about reconciliation. (author's abstract)