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Evaluating the evaluators: transitional justice and the contest of values

Ainley, Kirsten (2017) Evaluating the evaluators: transitional justice and the contest of values. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 11 (3). 421 - 442. ISSN 1752-7716

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ijtj/ijx022


Despite an increase in scholarly efforts to evaluate transitional justice (TJ) programmes, there is little agreement over what TJ is, what effects it could be expected to have, or how TJ mechanisms should be judged. This article contributes to the literature on TJ evaluation by showing how differences in understanding of the nature and value of the ‘justice’ in TJ affect what is evaluated and how findings are interpreted. The article parses the values inherent in TJ evaluations (retributive, restorative and transformative justice, valuable for intrinsic or instrumental reasons) in order to think through the ways in which different value orientations lead to different appraisals. A broad sample of literature on the TJ programme in Sierra Leone is analyzed according to the value orientations it tends towards. The analysis finds that evaluations of Sierra Leonean TJ can be found displaying each of the six value orientations, with no agreement about the success of the TJ programme from within orientations, let alone across them. Additionally, it is argued that scholars and researchers are rarely explicit about their orientations, and there is insufficient consideration of the political implications of different value positions for prescriptions for future TJ programmes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Oxford University Press
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2017 13:54
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:33

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