Source: (2005) Security Dialogue. 36(4):511-526.

This article argues that the central need in a society in the aftermath of violent conflict is to rebuild the state’s representation function, which should be constructed around an inclusive political and civic community. This inclusive community must overcome the fragmentation of society that occurs or is exacerbated during war, and view all community members as survivors of conflict. The main means of pursuing reconciliation in post-conflict societies has been through measures of ‘transitional justice’, primarily trials or truth commissions. However, this article argues that these transitional justice measures, while fulfilling certain needs and accruing some benefits, do not necessarily fulfil the specific need of delivering reconciliation or helping to rebuild inclusive societies. Instead, these measures could, paradoxically, deepen divisions within society. A new paradigm of ‘reparative justice’ is thus proposed as part of a comprehensive alternative, within the framework of a critical approach to post-conflict peacebuilding (PCPB), that would facilitate the reconstruction of an inclusive political and civic community while pursuing the objectives of justice and reconciliation. (author's abstract).