Transitional justice is a field of study that focuses on mechanisms developed to uncover crimes of the past, and to find ways to deal with them in the present. |This global, interdisciplinary field of study critically analyses forms of intervention that follow civil wars and political repression. It is an ever-growing field with its own concepts, perspectives and methodologies that have been developed in response to dilemmas arising from how successor regimes should deal with the human rights abuses of their authoritarian predecessors.
Transitional justice includes the mechanisms and processes associated with a society’s attempts to come to terms with large-scale past abuses not only to ensure accountability and serve justice, but also to achieve healing, reconciliation, truth, conflict resolution, democracy and peace. These mechanisms include, among others, criminal justice, institutional and rule-of-law reform, truth-telling and reparations. As an interdisciplinary field, transitional justice takes place across a range of disciplines such as law, anthropology, international relations, political science, history, ethics, development studies, cultural studies, sociology, psychology, theology and education.
The aim of the Springer Series in Transitional Justice is to address the legal, moral, social, and political issues that arise in countries emerging from war, dictatorships or other repressive regimes. It will focus on the strategies available to societies pursuing accountability for mass atrocities or human rights abuses. The strategies may be local, regional or global, and led by either state officials or civil societies who often pursue either judicial and non-judicial responses to human rights abuses, or both. While the series will encourage both top-down and bottom-up theoretical and qualitative inquiries, it will also emphasize relatively unexplored and under-researched role of civil society groups and social movements, such as local women’s groups, the role of art, theater and media and other grass-roots transitional justice mechanisms and initiatives.