The Global Impact and Legacy of Truth Commissions

This book emerges at a time when there is growing criticism of both truth commissions and transitional justice as a whole. Its purpose is to understand the impact and legacy of these institutions over the past fifty years.
Jeremy Sarkin
Series on Transitional Justice
boek | verschenen | 1e editie
mei 2019 | xiv + 300 blz.


€ 52,50 € 75,-

ISBN 9781780687940

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'[...], this book is at the same time systematic, practical and constructive, and both global and local.' -- Paolo Caroli, Human Rights Quarterly, 2021.

The Global Impact and Legacy of Truth Commissions emerges at a time when there is a confluence of two trends. The first is a growing critique of truth commissions as being unresponsive to the socio-economic needs of transitional societies as part of growing criticism of transitional justice as a whole. The second is the increasing use, salience, professionalism and ambition of truth commissions.

Thus, the book is published at a time when truth commissions are being both doubted and reified like never before. In this context, the book’s purpose is to understand the impact and legacy of these institutions over the past fifty years. Bringing together many prominent voices on the topic, this book investigates what kind of impact and legacy (possibly 100) truth commissions have had on the societies in which they have taken place, and for future truth commissions the world over.


Table of contents and preliminary pages (p. 0)

Jeremy Sarkin

Introduction: Contextualising and Understanding the Global Role, Impact and Legacy of Truth Commissions (p. 1)

Jeremy Sarkin

Is Anyone Listening?: A Review of the Research on Attitudes Towards Truth Commissions (p. 45)

Assessing the Long-Term Impact and Legacy of Truth Commissions (p. 75)

The Global Textual Legacies of Truth Commissions: Narratives on Sexual Violence in the Reports of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kenya and Beyond (p. 99)

Susanne Buckley-Zistel

The Implementation Record of Truth Commissions' Recommendations in Latin America (p. 119)

In the Aftermath of Truth: Implementing Truth Commissions' Recommendations on Reparations - Following Through for Victims (p. 143)

Truth Commissions and Social Justice: 'Wishful Thinking or Not Very Thoughtful Wishing'? (p. 169)

Transitioning Toward Dignity (p. 189)

Towards an Understanding of How Truth Commissions Can Use Their Amnesty Powers to Enhance Their Impact and Legacy (p. 211)

Jeremy Sarkin

Truth Commissions in Non-Transitional Contexts: Implications for Their Impact and Legacy (p. 247)

Surrogacy and Resistance: Evolving Patterns in Unofficial Truth Commissions and Truth Projects (p. 269)

Over de reeks

Series on Transitional Justice

Countries emerging from long periods of authoritarian rule must often confront a legacy of gross human rights abuses perpetrated over many years. During the past two decades, these age-old issues have been termed “problems of transitional justice”, both by academics and policy makers around the world. Given the frequency with which these problems arise, as well as the complexity of the issues involved, it is striking that no book series has taken the issue of transitional justice as its point of focus.

The Series on Transitional Justice offers a platform for high-quality research within the rapidly growing field of transitional justice. This research is, of necessity, inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing from disciplines such as law, political science, history, sociology, criminology, anthropology and psychology, as well as from various specialised fields of study such as human rights, victimology and peace studies. It is furthermore international in outlook, drawing on the knowledge and experience of academics and other specialists in many different regions of the world.

The series is aimed at a variety of audiences who are either working or interested in fields such as crime and justice; human rights; humanitarian law and human security; conflict resolution and peace building. These audiences may include academics, researchers, students, policy makers, practitioners, non-governmental organisations and the media.

Editorial board:
- Prof. Stephan Parmentier (University of Leuven, Belgium)
- Prof. Jeremy Sarkin (NOVA University of Lisbon School of Law, Portugal) and
- Dr. Mina Rauschenbach (Université de Lausanne, Switzerland and University of Leuven, Belgium)

With a subscription to the series you enjoy a 15% discount on each volume.

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