Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Theory and Practice

This chapter reviews the debates on transitional justice and reconciliation in order to assess
the practical approaches that stem from these concepts in terms of their relevance for conflict
transformation and peacebuilding.3
The next section reflects the state of research on international
criminal justice and truth commissions and highlights the strengths and limits of these
approaches. Section 3 reveals that the debates on transitional justice and reconciliation, although
they overlap, are not identical, and outlines the need to see reconciliation as a multi-level
process alongside conflict transformation. The discourses on all these concepts are marked by
significant research gaps and many open questions, which are summarised at the end of both
sections. The fourth and final section spells out diverse challenges for research and practice.
These include a need to focus on the interaction of different actors, levels and mechanisms and
to listen to the voices of affected populations.

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