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Restorative justice and nodal governance.

Wood, Jennifer
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. 35(1):1-18.

To date, a key emphasis within the restorative justice movement has been on the ways in which its values can guide the system of “criminal justice”. In this paper we argue that this focus has limited our ability to recognize various ways in which such values are being promoted within forms of governance originating outside of state justice systems. Through an examination of one localized governance model in South Africa, we seek to demonstrate that restorative values are being promoted through distinct goals and mechanisms developed to suit micropolitical, cultural, and economic realities. We suggest that the need to discover, explain, and assess such mechanisms is important to the advancement of the security governance literature, especially in a manner that is both intellectually and practically relevant to societies with deficits in state governance. Our empirical focus is on Peace Committees in South African communities that are operating, to use Braithwaite’s terms, as forms of “responsive nodal governance”. Our depiction of these Committees raises both explanatory and normative questions that warrant further empirical study. (author’s abstract)


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