Conclusion: From Periphery to Foreground
For much of the short history of the field of transitional justice, “doing justice” has largely centered on some kind of truth telling and accountability for acts of physical violence while questions of economic violence—including plunder of natural resources, corruption and other economic crimes, and violations of economic and social rights more generally—have been pushed to the periphery. This state of affairs is, however, beginning to change with important developments in transitional justice policy and practice in recent years. Increasingly, the question is no longer whether questions of economic violence should be taken up by transitional justice mechanisms and institutions as a general policy matter, but how these questions should be addressed where context-specific factors suggest that it would be important and prudent to do so. There is no articulable set of policy prescriptions that can serve as a detailed roadmap for addressing what will inevitably be heavily contested questions concerning how to bring about greater truth and accountability in matters of economic violence in times of transition. At the same time, greater engagement with questions of economic violence does raise some broad policy questions that should be considered as the boundaries of transitional justice continue to expand. In particular, this chapter argues that activists, scholars, and policymakers need to give careful thought to whether engagement with questions of economic violence should be relatively broad or narrow, and the extent to which transitional justice efforts should be coordinated with wider efforts related to peacebuilding and development in the post-conflict context.