Interweaving transitional justice’s backward and forward-looking functions by formulating more concrete pathways of impact

Panel presentation at the 16th Biennial Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS 2023) to be held from 10 to 14 July 2023 at the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona.


In the past three decades the transitional justice (TJ) paradigm became the dominant paradigm for dealing with legacies of violence. It migrated from post-authoritarian to post-conflict settings, and from there to cases of ongoing violence and cases dealing with afterlives of historical violence such as colonialism. This has given rise to a complex, multi-faceted and dynamic field of (formal and informal) practice and theory, covering judicial processes and truth practices, reparations, various measures of non-recurrence and memory work. In spite of their growing popularity, the empirical track record of these mechanisms in contributing to more just and stable societies and to guaranteeing non-recurrence is mixed. This can at least partly be attributed to the limited attention for explicitly conceptualizing the causal links between these various practices and their envisioned outcomes, as well as to the sometimes limited interaction between various transitional justice mechanisms and initiatives. In this panel we examine how a more explicit engagement with concrete pathways of impact could remedy some of the existing shortfalls. Presenters pay special attention to the oft-overlooked interaction between formal and informal practices, and to notions of permanence to identify crucial dimensions of such a pathway of impact.

Date & Time

July 10, 2023



UB Facultad de Derecho, Universitat de Barcelona, Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona, Spain


Organized by International Association of Genocide Scholars