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The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice Paperback – December 14, 2017
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'In The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice, Colleen Murphy develops a theoretical framework for understanding the conditions, objectives, and processes of transitional justice. It is a very interesting and useful contribution to the literature on transitional justice ... the book helps us to rethink how we - practitioners, interested parties, and scholars - can more coherently, effectively, and justly respond to past wrongdoing.' Roger Duthie and David Tolbert, International Center for Transitional Justice
'By reframing justice away from legal accountability and toward the evaluation of legal responses based on their contributions to reforming political relationships, between citizen and state and among citizens, she moves past the increasingly unsolvable debates that have preoccupied the field.' Laurel E. Fletcher, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
'Murphy deserves accolades for traversing numerous disciplinary divides in her approach to transitional justice. For scholars seeking to build more bridges between international law and philosophy, this books offers an excellent way as to how it can be done.' Steven R. Ratner, University of Michigan Law School
'Murphy eloquently argues that transitional justice is not like normal justice; it is qualitatively different because of the fundamentally distinct circumstances that constitute periods of political transition. These include: (a) pervasive structural inequality; (b) normalized collective and political wrongdoing; (c) serious existential uncertainty; and (d) fundamental uncertainty about authority. These background circumstances mean that ordinary ideas of retribution, corrective justice, and restitution do not cater to the needs of societies undergoing transition from authoritarianism/mass violence to democracy/peace. The misfit with these usual concepts of justice is so acute that we must craft an entirely new, distinct brand of justice that follows its own logic and answers to its own self-consciously defined first principles.' James Stewart, University of British Columbia
Transitional justice is distinguished from retributive, corrective, and distributive justice in Murphy's innovative analysis of this debated concept. The discussion is illustrated by case studies, making the book an accessible read for philosophers, political and social scientists, policy analysts, and legal and human rights scholars and activists.