New on the blog: Doing Women, Peace and Security better: Opportunities for the next UK National Action Plan

Knowledge for Peace: Transitional Justice and the Politics of Knowledge in Theory and Practice ed. by Briony Jones and Ulrike Lühe

Tow open hands painted on a wall with green shoots coming up out of them.
Claire Wright | Published on January 8, 2024

Project: Addressing post-colonial legacies in transitional justice

Overview

This publication is a book review of the volume Knowledge for Peace: Transitional Justice and the Politics of Knowledge in Theory and Practice, edited by Briony Jones and Ulrike Luhe, and published by Edward Elgar in 2022. The review identifies the main contributions made by the volume to the decolonisation of knowledge within the field of transitional justice. The lessons learned can be applied to the social sciences more broadly, particularly in its discussion of research partnerships between scholars in the Global North and Global South, and from that perspective the volume is of interest to the work of the Gender Justice and Security.

Key Findings

The findings from the book review reflect on the key contributions of the volume edited by Jones and Luhe (2022) and include the following:

  • “Knowledge imperialism” shapes relationships between partners in the Global North and the Global South, with the former generally dictating agendas to the latter.
  • It is important to look at the links between knowledge production and the formation of policy, that is to say how knowledge is produced will undoubtedly affect practices of Transitional Justice.
  • As well as more academic concerns, “emotion” is a useful angle from which to approach research collaborations.
  • Peacebuilding projects that fail to take into account local agendas will inevitably fail and may in turn create more conflict.
  • Despite the above, it is important to consider the contributions made by individuals in the Global South to the transitional justice agenda, something that scholars often overlook.

Recommendations

  • The concept of “transformative justice” may prove useful to analyse the politics of knowledge in future, given that it opens up the perspective of TJ and considers the contributions of local communities at both an epistemic and practical level.
  • Another interesting issue to develop further is the influence of the bodies that finance research on the agenda and discussions held in volumes such as this, particularly when they are involved in TJ processes.