Cynthia M. Horne (Department of Political Science, Western Washington University, USA)
Project: Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past, Looking Toward the Future (June 18th, 2018 – July 10th, 2018)
Short presentation: Impact assessments of the efficacy of transitional justice have thus far focused on how certain types of measures, such as truth commissions, amnesties and lustration, affected transition goals like institutional trust, peace-building, and democratization. The creation of new transitional justice databases like Tricia Olsen, Leigh Payne and Andrew Reiter’s Transitional Justice Database and Helga Malmin Binningsbø, Cyanne E Loyle, Scott Gates, Jon Elster’s Post-Conflict Justice dataset have advanced our ability to investigate possible causal relationships. Although impact assessments of transitional justice are still working out the causal relationships between certain accountability and justice measures and transitional goals, there has been a generalized assumption that earlier measures are better than later measures. The literature thus starts with an unproven assumption that late measures are less efficacious, possibly even counter-productive, but certainly suboptimal policy choices compared to measures enacted early in the transition. Given the lack of systematic evidence to support this assertion, this potentially misleading assumption bears empirical investigation.
Institutional profile and CV: https://chss.wwu.edu/people/hornec