Victims’ Inclusion and Transitional Justice: Attending to the Exclusivity of Inclusion Politics

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Abstract:

This report reviews efforts to include victims in transitional justice programmes, and the difficulties of managing the politics of inclusion in the transitional justice setting. It draws on empirical data from peace agreements and fieldwork in Burundi to scrutinize how inclusion is provided for in peace agreements on paper, and in post-agreement practice. The report argues that ‘victimhood’ and ‘inclusion’ are concepts that lack conceptual clarity. In practice, inclusion efforts are often pursued without consideration for the political and socio-cultural dynamics that emerge with any attempt to design an inclusive transitional justice process. Intervening to ensure inclusivity involves entering webs of power dynamics between individuals who have fluid political and social identities.

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