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Transitional Justice, Interdisciplinarity and the State of the ‘Field’ or ‘Non-Field’.

Bell, Christine
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) International Journal of Transitional Justice. 3(1):5–27.

Transitional justice appears to be an established field of scholarship connected to a field of
practice on how to deal with past human rights abuses in societies in transition. The original
focus of transitional justice discourse was that human rights law requires accountability
in transitions, rooted in the discipline of law. Over time, this focus has been expanded to
include a much broader range of mechanisms, goals and inquiries across a range of disciplines.
In order to probe the current state of the field, this article argues against the current
conception of transitional justice as a praxis-based interdisciplinary field. It suggests that
there is a hidden politics to how transitional justice has been constructed as an interdisciplinary
field that obscures tensions between the range of practices and goals that it now
incorporates. (excerpt)


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