Journal of Global Ethics 14 (2):169-180 (2018)

Sirkku Hellsten
University of Helsinki
ABSTRACTI examine some of the main philosophical, conceptual and normative issues in Colleen Murphy’s recent book The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice. I am sceptical whether we need yet another theory of justice to fit particular ‘transitional circumstances’, as Murphy argues. Instead, before presenting an alternative normative, ‘moral’ theory, we need to re-examine the very concept of transitional justice. I examine particularly the following. Firstly, what we really mean by ‘transitional justice’ in various contexts; and I argue that transitional justice is not, as Murphy argues, ‘a special kind of justice’ needed during certain periods of political and social change. Transitional justice is rather an escape route from difficult questions of justice that transitional societies must deal with to maintain the delicate balance between justice and peace. Currently, the concept of transitional justice refers most directly to the overarching and expanding ‘toolkit’ of various mechanisms and processes used in post-conflict reconstruction. It is not quite clear how this toolkit fits with current debates on global, international, regional and local justice. Indeed, I would have preferred that Murphy focus on the complex conceptual foundations of transitional justice, rather than build a theory that conceptually and foundationally remains complex and ambiguous.
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DOI 10.1080/17449626.2018.1507004
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The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1993 - Critical Inquiry 20 (1):36-68.
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