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Teaching sleeping dogs new tricks? Transitional justice as identity-building

Brender, Felix (2022) Teaching sleeping dogs new tricks? Transitional justice as identity-building. Open Cultural Studies, 6 (1). pp. 12-24. ISSN 2451-3474

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Identification Number: 10.1515/culture-2020-0137


Transitional Justice (TJ) mechanisms have been applied in several post-conflict spaces and commonly hailed by the academy as a - if not the - route to lasting positive peace. Taiwan has seen bouts of at times violent protest, which has given rise to popular and academic claims that renewed TJ efforts are required to achieve true, lasting peace. Against this backdrop, this text identifies sources of grievances and situates Taiwan's case in the wider TJ literature to then explore Taiwan's most recent TJ endeavours under Tsai Ying-Wen, focusing on its core mechanism, the Transitional Justice Commission. Engaging other readings of Taiwanese TJ mechanisms, this article argues that Tsai's TJ mechanisms should be read chiefly as an identity-building project. Located in a wider drive to develop a positive identity for Taiwan, they are an attempt to establish shared historical narratives and ultimately aim to create a more stable Taiwanese identity independent of China as a pivotal Other or benchmark. This process is directed at both domestic and international audiences. This way, Taiwan negotiates, (re-)constructs and reifies a relatively inclusive positive Taiwanese identity not solely through the memories uncovered and remembered through the TJ process, but chiefly through the process itself.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 11:36
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 11:09

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