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Reassembling International Justice: The Making of ‘the Social’ in International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice

Campbell, Kirsten. 2014. Reassembling International Justice: The Making of ‘the Social’ in International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 8(1), pp. 53-74. ISSN 1752-7716 [Article]


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Abstract or Description

This article examines the most recent shift in ongoing debates concerning the relationship between international criminal law and transitional justice, using the examples of international criminal prosecutions before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and transitional justice mechanisms in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It reframes the problematic relationship between the two fields by revisiting the important but underexplored concept of ‘the social’ that underpins these two very different models of international justice. The article draws on the work of Bruno Latour, who argues that we should study law by analysing how its practices construct ‘the social.’ Building on this approach, the article shows how international criminal law and transitional justice offer different ways of reassembling social relationships after conflict. While transitional justice seeks to reassemble a society in conflict through ‘justice’ processes, international criminal law seeks to make social ties through ‘law.’ The current shift in justice discourses reveals that what is ultimately at stake in these debates is the fundamental question of how international justice can reassemble ‘the social’ in more just forms after conflict.

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European Research Council for this research, as part of the Gender of Justice project (Grant No. 313626).

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Date Deposited:

28 Feb 2014 15:56

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2018 20:09

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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