5. September 2008

CfP for a Book on 'The Role of Gender in Transitional Justice'

Transitional Justice (TJ) refers to processes of dealing with the aftermath of violent conflicts and human rights abuses. It makes use of a number of different instruments and mechanisms, including national and international tribunals, truth commissions, memory work, reparations and institutional reforms and security sector reform, which aim at uncovering the truth about past crimes, putting past wrongs right, holding perpetrators accountable, vindicating the dignity of victims-survivors and contributing to reconciliation. TJ is at one and the same time oriented to the past, in addressing the wrongs that have been committed; to the present, in establishing a new ethical and institutional framework; and through this, to prevent the future occurrence of such similar injustices. The concept has gained popularity among academics and practitioners alike, yet little attention has thus far been given to the role of gender in these processes. This is where the planned edited volume seeks to make a timely and vital contribution and, by so doing, to provide impetus to the growing debate on gender dimensions of transitional justice.
There are few studies on 'gender in TJ' and those that exist tend to focus almost exclusively on women as victims of sexualised violence. This risks reducing women’s experiences of violence and repression to a single dimension, as well as perpetuating gender stereotypes. The objective of the book is to move beyond this narrow focus by contributing to a gendered analysis of TJ.
This implies posing some fundamental questions about TJ, including inter alia: Whose justice for whom? Transition to what? Is TJ a global project transmitting hegemonic values, and how does this impact on local needs and understandings of gender? How can gendered perspectives be incorporated in competing understandings of TJ (as an imperfect version of ordinary justice, as liberalizing justice, as restorative justice)? If TJ is understood as a foundational project: How far do TJ processes impact on gender relations? Do we need a broader conception of TJ (e.g. one that fully incorporates economic, social and cultural rights) in order for TJ to contribute to greater gender equality? And, how far do TJ processes address specific constructions of masculinity?
The editors welcome proposals dealing with the following broad themes, dealing, inter alia, with the following:
1. Incorporation of gender into competing theoretical concepts of transitional justice
2. Gender issues and specific instruments of TJ
3. Conceptions of TJ in areas of limited statehood: Transitioning to what?
4. TJ governance and the rights of sexual minorities
Please send your abstract of 500-700 words to either Ruth Stanley or Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Free University, Berlin (see below). Deadline: 1.11.2008. Contact details: Dr. Susanne Buckley-Zistel, eMail:; Dr. Ruth Stanley, eMail:
Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science, Free University Berlin, Ihnestr. 26, 14195 Berlin