Victims’ Inclusion and Transitional Justice: Attending to the Exclusivity of Inclusion Politics

  • Citation: Jamar, Astrid. “Victims’ Inclusion and Transitional Justice: Attending to the Exclusivity of Inclusion Politics.” Political Settlements Research Programme, 2018.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Burundi
    • transitional justice
    • inclusion
    • victims
    • United Nations

Inclusion of victims is often framed and implemented without consideration for the political and socio-cultural tensions which surround attempts to define and include victims, in particular: efforts to include victims are often based on status equality categories, such as gender, age, ethnicity or group belonging, which do not account for the fluid social and political identities of the victims and the individuals that represent them, yet these identities will often constrain or empower the participation of particular groups of victims; intervening on inclusivity inevitably affects power dynamics between groups and individuals representing the different constituencies and these contextual conflict dynamics need to be understood by external agencies and actors; a lack of political awareness of the fluid socio-political identities of those whom are included can crystallize or reinforce the very power imbalances that inclusion efforts claim to address. Peace agreements present an image of hapless vulnerable victims that have been killed or have suffered physical violence and require assistance. When the gender of victims is specified, it is to identify women and children who have lost male family members. The approach to victimhood runs contrary to policy commitments for victim empowerment and active participation.

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