Why Transitional Justice Needs to be Conceptualised in Arab States Theoretically As Well As Empirically

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Abstract

This article explains and reviews the theoretical and normative contexts of transitional justice. Empirical studies and specific settings, particularly in the Arab region, need to be rooted much more in transitional justice theory. This would allow similarities and differences in models and practices to be debated and understood. If there were a rigorous theoretical application to such studies, especially if they were comparative in nature, much more could be learnt from those experiences. The article therefore aims to ensure that the models of transitional justice being suggested, and at times being implemented, in various places around the world, including Arab countries, integrate the theory and practice of transitional justice. Data and statistics need to be used and evaluated and there needs to be greater use of methodological processes including empirical studies. At present, this is not always the case. Often, models are designed or implemented without due regard to transitional justice theory. Similarly, when models are presented or critiqued by practitioners, little regard is given to transitional justice theory, or the context within which those models operated. Little context is provided and little is done to ensure that the material from one context can be understood and applied in other places. Therefore, it is difficult to see what lessons can be learnt for other places even where the context or circumstances are very similar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
JournalJournal Siyasat Arabiya
Volume47
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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