The Pitfalls of Local Involvement: Justice and Reconciliation in Cambodia, Kosovo, and Timor-Leste

Local involvement does not always produce favourable outcomes. There are instances when local actors exploit the legitimacy of liberal institutions to advance their political interests or deny the pursuit of justice for the sake of short-term stability. This has happened in Cambodia, Kosovo and Timor-Leste when the decisions of the local elite failed to reflect the local aspirations for justice and reconciliation.

The cases of Cambodia, Kosovo and Timor-Leste are examples when local involvement that is exclusive to the political elite failed to resolve the conundrums of transitional justice. In Cambodia, the local elite exploits the legitimacy of liberal institutions of justice to advance their political interests. In Kosovo, local actors from the dominant ethnic group use the institutions of justice as venues for revenge against the Serb minority. In Timor-Leste, the local leadership sidelined the pursuit of justice for the sake of reconciliation with Indonesia.

Read the full article here.

Reference: Dahlia Simangan, “The Pitfalls of Local Involvement: Justice and Reconciliation in Cambodia, Kosovo, and Timor-Leste,” Peacebuilding, online first 4 January 2017, doi:10.1080/21647259.2016.1273489.

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