Seminar: Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Post-colonial Africa: The De-colonial Option

Foto seminar Ruth Murambadoro

Transitional justice operates in contexts where the rule of law has failed. Transitional justice stands out in the global peacebuilding project as the primary avenue used by global actors to address the effects of conflict. It carries weight in peacebuilding processes due to its ability to provide political remedy to past injustices through present justice. What remains problematic is the instrumentalization of the liberal peacebuilding framework to attain political goals that do not serve the interests and values of local communities. I interrogate transitional justice using three case countries in Sub-Saharan Africa - Burundi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe - where peacebuilding processes have sustained a liberal peacebuilding framework. I argue that the notion of transitional justice in post-colonial Africa is in a state of flux, where each constituency has the prerogative to deliberate rules for self-governance themselves. This process of redeveloping the rules by which people govern themselves and resolve their disputes is the transition phase of justice. I concur with the decolonial paradigm and suggest that the framework for transitional justice in Africa should offer all citizens redress for past injustices, grounded in local traditions and judicial practices, in a manner that satisfies their needs.

Portrait Ruth Ruth Murambadoro is a Zimbabwean-born decolonial scholar working on transitional justice, reconciliation and peacebuilding in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is registered with the University of Pretoria for her DPhil in Political Sciences and works at the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) within the same university. Ruth is a board member of the African Studies Association (ASA) and doctoral fellow of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS). Her scholarly work has been published in the Strategic Review for Southern Africa, the African Journal on Conflict Resolution and OSSREA, among others.

Date, time and location

18 May 2017
15.30 - 17.00
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 5A51 (5th floor)