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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th edn)

Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, and Lesley McAra
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date: 26 September 2023

p. 39117. Criminology and transitional justicelocked

p. 39117. Criminology and transitional justicelocked

  • Kieran McEvoy,
  • Ron Dudai
  •  and Cheryl Lawther


This chapter explores the intersection between criminology and transitional justice. The chapter begins with a critical discussion on the utility of criminological scholarship from settled democracies to the exceptional circumstances of post-conflict or post-authoritarian societies. It then explores a range of debates related to the punishment of offenders in such contexts including the role of prosecutions, amnesties, the reintegration of former combatants, and the role of restorative justice. The chapter next considers the social and political construction of victimhood in transitional contexts including competing notions of the ‘idealized’ victim. The relationship between transitional justice and social control is then examined including the importance of countering denial, the relationship between deviance and memory and the particular contribution of efforts ‘from below’ to counter elites-level narratives on past abuses. The chapter concludes that a criminology of transitional justice provides the basis for revisiting some of the foundational questions on responding to crime and justice in the most challenging of settings—a sobering but intellectually rich research agenda for years to come.

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