Liberal Democratic Ideology and Transitional Justice

  • Noel Calhoun


From South Africa to Eastern Europe, in diverse contexts of democratization, societies have sought answers to the dilemmas of justice in regime transitions, analyzing their options in light of liberal democratic norms. Thus, it is worth attempting a systematic answer to the question: Is there a liberal democratic model for coming to terms with past injustices? This chapter constructs an “ideal-type” of a liberal democratic approach to transitional justice. Laying bare the central elements of this model will help us to achieve two goals. First, it will enable us to make sense of the current debates and policy decisions, exposing the assumptions that shape the debates and highlighting the common themes. Second, better theoretical explication will help us to make a principled, reasoned prescription for how countries might come to terms with the past in a way that best promotes a liberal democratic future.


Social Contract Restorative Justice Liberal Democracy Transitional Justice Social Contract Theory 
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© Noel Calhoun 2004

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  • Noel Calhoun

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