Through the Looking Glass: Transitional Justice Futures through the Lens of Nationalism, Feminism, and Transformative Change


Brown, Kris, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin. 2015. "Through the Looking Glass: Transitional Justice Futures through the Lens of Nationalism, Feminism, and Transformative Change." The International Journal of Transitional Justice 9: 127-49.

Authors: Kris Brown, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin


In reflecting on the contemporary challenges and future directions of transitional justice theory and practice, this article addresses causality, accountability and political form in a triangulated assessment of nationalism’s power and ‘stickiness’ in the present formulations of transitional solutions. Addressing the identity politics of transitional justice brings us to assess the political forms that enable, define and consume transition with a particular hew to power-sharing and consociationalism-type arrangements in the aftermath of systematic atrocity. The authors provide a pragmatic, perhaps cynical account of the triumph of consociationalism as the preferred transitional accommodation, and point to the ‘dark side’ of governance arrangements in postconflict settings with implications for understanding cycles of violence and repeat conflict patterns. In both contexts, we deploy a feminist lens to understand the implications for women and gender transformation emerging from our framing of the politics of transitional justice in the contemporary moment.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Justice, Impunity, Transitional Justice, Nationalism, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2015

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at