Victims and transitional justice: Voice, agency and blame

McEvoy, Kieran and McConnachie, Kirsten (2013) Victims and transitional justice: Voice, agency and blame. Social & Legal Studies, 22 (4). pp. 489-513. ISSN 0964-6639

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This article explores the construction of victimhood in transitional societies. Drawn from fieldwork in a dozen jurisdictions as well as elements of criminological, feminist, sociological, philosophical and postcolonial literature, the article focuses in particular on how victimhood is interpreted and acted upon in transitional contexts. It explores the ways in which victims’ voice and agency are realised, impeded or in some cases co-opted in transitional justice. It also examines the role of blame in the construction of victimhood. In particular, it focuses upon the ways in which the importance of blame may render victimhood contingent upon ‘blamelessness’, encourage hierarchies between deserving and undeserving victims and require the reification of blameworthy perpetrators. The article concludes by suggesting that the increased voice and agency associated with the deployment of rights discourses by victims comes at a price – a willingness to acknowledge the rights and humanity of the ‘other’ and to be subject to the same respectful critical inquiry as other social and political actors in a post-conflict society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: agency,blame,hierarchy,innocence,transitional justice,victims,voice
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > International Law
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Migration Research Network
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 10:30
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2023 08:30
DOI: 10.1177/0964663913499062

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