International actors have been instrumental in the promotion of transitional justice in general and in the implementation of transitional justice strategies in particular transitional or post-conflict contexts. The conventional wisdom holds that international actors should fill a support role in providing resources and technical expertise to countries considering the pursuit of transitional justice. Yet, the role of outside actors in transitional justice has not received much empirical scrutiny. Anecdotal evidence suggests international actors can indeed play an important role, but in other instances the effect may not be positive. Among other things, international actors may have preferences and goals that do not align with a country's needs. As a result, they may promote particular approaches that are poorly suited to local conditions.
I would like to invite researchers to join me in exploring this question. Contributions are welcome that address the issue:
- from any disciplinary perspective;
- utilizing any research methodology;
- through case studies from any region of the world or comparative studies;
- examining any type of transitional justice mechanism or combination of mechanisms; and
- focusing on one or more types of international actors including international organizations such as the United Nations, foreign governments, global NGOs and other civil society organizations, and other types of funders.
For the first phase of the project, I plan ot submit a panel proposal for the next European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) meeting to be held in Reykjavik, Iceland from 25 - 27 August 2011. Up to 5 papers may be submitted for the panel. To participate, please submit a 200 word abstract and a current CV to me by August 15, 2010. Submissions recieved by August 15 will receive first consideration for the panel. I hope to organize a subsequent meeting and later publish the studies as an edited volume. As such, proposals also are welcome from those who cannot attend the conference or who cannot meet the deadline.
Please contact me with any questions, comments, and submissions.
Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, PhD
Senior Research Fellow, International Human Rights Law Institute, DePaul University
International Research Consultant, Hewitt Associates
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