Source: (2001) Revision of paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting. Chicago, April 19-21. St. Louis, MO: Washington University.

Societies in transition from older repressive regimes to newer more democratic systems must find an acceptable way to deal with the wrongs of the past. In recent years, a common recourse is the institution of some sort of “truth commissionâ€? to seek an acceptable formula for reckoning with the past while also leading toward a peaceful present and future. A significant example was the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, with its exchange of amnesty for truth, in hopes for peace. In this paper Gibson examines the consequences of truth and reconciliation processes for the consolidation of democracy. Specifically, he investigates how desires for justice affect judgments of the amnesty component of the truth and reconciliation process.

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