Transitional Justice in South Asia
A Study of Afghanistan and Nepal
Routledge – 2013 – 228 pages
Offering a comparative case study of transitional justice processes in Afghanistan and Nepal, this book critically evaluates the way the "local" is consulted in post-conflict efforts toward peace and reconciliation. It argues that there is a tendency in transitional justice efforts to contain the discussion of the "local" within religious and cultural parameters, thus engaging only with a "static local," as interpreted by certain local stakeholders.
Based on data collected through interviews and participant observation carried out in the civil societies of the respective countries, this book brings attention to a "dynamic local," where societal norms evolve, and realities on the ground are shaped by shifting power dynamics, local hierarchies, and inequalities between actors. It suggests that the "local" must be understood as an inter-subjective concept, the meaning of which is not only an evolving and moving target, but also dependent on who is consulted to interpret it to external actors.
This timely book engages with the divergent range of civil society voices and offers ways to move forward by including their concerns in the efforts to help impoverished war-torn societies transition from a state of war to the conditions of peace.
1. Introduction: Examining The Justice Question In Afghanistan And Nepal 2. The Legacy of Past Initiatives 3. Ordinary Laws 4. Through Local Lenses: The Politicization of Justice 5. A Meaning of Justice 6. Negotiating Narrow Spaces: National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) 7. Conclusion: Toward a Theory of the "Local"
Tazreena Sajjad is a Professorial Lecturer in the International Politics Department at the School of International Service, American University, USA. Her research interests include transitional justice, humanitarian intervention, and women and post conflict reconstruction.