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Justice beyond Hatred

Justice beyond Hatred

Chapter:
(p.123) Five Justice beyond Hatred
Source:
Mixed Emotions
Author(s):
Andrew A. G. Ross
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226077567.003.0006

This chapter turns to the emotional politics of justice, reconciliation, and social repair. With an empirical focus on Rwanda and, to a lesser extent, South Africa, the chapter treats juridical and quasi-juridical institutions as social rituals that both respond to and engender powerful emotions. Drawing widely from social theory, neuroscience, and legal anthropology, it shows how various approaches to transitional justice— tribunals, truth commissions, community-based courts, and grassroots initiatives— can benefit from increased concern for the emotional contexts in which they operate. Quasi-juridical institutions such as truth commissions have permitted an emotionally engaged form of justice, but have often also limited this through insistence on forgiveness, national unity, and other forms of identity-based reconciliation. Rwanda’s experiment with local courts illustrates both the potential and fragility of participatory models of justice, showing that legal practices can both generate trust and, by restricting public expressions of emotion or mandating unity, undermine it.

Keywords:   Transitional justice, Cycles of hatred, Rwanda, South Africa, Truth commissions, War crimes tribunals, Gacaca courts (Rwanda), Reconciliation, Forgiveness

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