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Navigating Local Transitional Justice


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Table of Contents

List of Maps; Acknowledgements; 1. Agency in times of transitional justice: recognized and unrecognized mechanisms 'at work'; 2. Navigating violence, peace and justice: conflict and post-conflict experiences in Sierra Leone; 3. Deconstructing Fambul Tok's discourse and practice: the local, ownership and participation; 4. Participant experiences with Fambul Tok's program: interpretation, appropriation, agency; 5. Unrecognized mechanisms, normality and everyday realities in transition; 6. Activating justice; Appendix A. Informant interview list; References; Index.

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Examines local transitional justice processes in post-conflict Sierra Leone to explain how these programs work in practice.

About the Author

Laura S. Martin is Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham and an affiliate at the University of Makeni, Sierra Leone. She has conducted research in Sierra Leone for over ten years and, in 2021, was Co-Investigator on an AHRC project entitled 'Performing Arts and Social Violence'. She has been published in numerous journals including Cooperation and Conflict and Third World Quarterly.


'This is an outstanding and important book about how transition and justice are understood and achieved after conflict. Drawing on extensive work in Sierra Leone, Martin documents the creative, subversive and transformative ways that individuals and communities exercised agency in practice, through both recognised and unrecognised justice processes.' Kirsten Ainley, Australian National University
'At a time when transitional justice scholarship is concerned with localisation, Laura Martin provides an insightful account of Sierra Leonean justice initiatives that oscillate between translating and appropriating global norms. Illustrating their agency in an environment composed of many norm entrepreneurs with different interests and agendas, this is a profoundly political project.' Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Philipps University Marburg
'This is a nuanced, meticulous ethnographic account of the experience of transitional justice in Sierra Leone that challenges our assumptions. With over a decade of contemporary efforts to localize transitional justice programs, policies, and practices, there could be no better or more timely empirical evaluation of this process in Sierra Leone and other transitional societies.' Mohamed Sesay, York University
'This is an important contribution to our understanding of localized transitional justice and hybrid peacebuilding. It shows how ordinary Sierra Leoneans re-interpreted Fambul Tok's avowedly local agenda for their own, even more localized, goals. It also highlights the crucial role of intra-local frictions - something that gets obscured by more romanticized accounts of local peace and justice initiatives.' Lars Waldorf, University of Essex

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