About Justice Visions
The question of how to serve justice, facilitate peaceful transitions and empower victims of past large-scale abuses is about as old as the field of transitional justice (TJ) itself. Increasingly practitioners are turning to participatory approaches as a promising way to make advances regarding each of these issues. An oft-cited benefit of victim participation in TJ processes is that it allegedly increases the legitimacy of these processes by rendering them more locally relevant, and that it empowers participants and turns them into ambassadors of the justice process.
However, little is known about how to organize this participation in practice or under which conditions alleged benefits (for individual victims-participants or for society at large) are likely to materialize. As a result, participation is often organized with little critical reflection about potential unforeseen or long-term effects.
Because formal and informal transitional justice processes often face significant practical, financial and political constraints, it is crucial to better understand how participatory approaches can contribute to a positive and lasting legacy.
The Justice Visions project, funded amongst others by the European Research Council (VictPart 804154), carries out research on this topic.
The research findings will provide policy-makers with empirically supported expertise on pressing policy issues, and, because of the project’s attention to international dynamics as well as local contexts, findings will enrich our scholarly understanding of the interaction between these policy levels and will be relevant to a variety of (post-)conflict settings.