2 Items

Journal Article - European Journal of International Relations

Ideational Change and the Emergence of the International Norm of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

| September 2014

This article traces the emergence of the international norm of truth and reconciliation commissions. In the debates that followed the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, truth and reconciliation commissions shifted from being seen as a political compromise to being regarded as a 'holistic' tool for social and political reconstruction and came to be associated with multiple democratizing effects. Truth and reconciliation commissions also shifted from being the 'weaker alternative' to trials to a practice that is morally equal and complementary to the judicial option. Taken as a whole, these changes in the expected utility, morality, and specification of truth and reconciliation commissions facilitated their emergence and consequent institutionalization as an international norm.

Chairman of the Kenyan Task Force on the establishment of a Truth, Justice & Reconciliation Commission Makau Mutua, left, greets Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former chair of South Africa's Truth & Reconciliation Commission, Aug 14, 2003, in Kenya.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Cooperation and Conflict

Measuring the Impacts of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: Placing the Global 'Success' of TRCs in Local Perspective

| September 2012

"Truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) have emerged as an international norm and are assumed to be an essential element of national reconciliation, democratization, and post-conflict development. Despite the increase in the number of TRCs being initiated around the globe and the international consensus regarding their positive effects, there is little understanding of the longterm effects and consequences of TRCs. Specifically, currently there are no established methods or mechanisms for measuring the impacts of TRCs; furthermore, the few examples of efforts to measure these impacts have serious limitations. This article explores both the rise in TRCs as an international norm and the contradictions and inadequacies in existing efforts to measure the impacts and successes of commissions."