Thinking systemically about transitional justice, legal systems and resilience

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Colleges, School and Institutes


Transitional justice refers to the set of judicial and non-judicial processes that societies may use to deal with legacies of past human rights abuses and atrocities. While the field is rapidly expanding, to date there are no systematic analyses of transitional justice within a resilience framework – or vice versa. The purpose of this chapter is to address that gap and to demonstrate why resilience is highly relevant for transitional justice theory and practice. It argues that resilience thinking can enhance the impact of transitional justice on the ground, by contributing to the development of more ecological approaches to dealing with the past that locate individuals within their broader social environments. The chapter also reflects on the conceptual and empirical utility of resilience as a concept that opens up a space for analysing the wider societal and systemic impact of legal systems more generally.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSystemic resilience
Subtitle of host publicationprinciples and processes for a science of change in contexts of adversity
EditorsMichael Ungar
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020