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Johannes Freudenreich

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Reparationsprogramme und Transitional Justice



ISBN: 978-3-86956-096-0
147 pages
Release year 2010

Series: Potsdamer Studien zu Staat, Recht und Politik , 6

10,00 

Transitional justice refers to approaches that states use to address past human rights violations at the end of violence and repression. Providing reparations to victims, which can be understood as one of the main instruments of Transitional Justice, has so far received relatively little attention in the Transitional Justice literature. This book tries to fill this gap and asks why some states chose to implement reparation programs while others did not. Putting reparations into context this book adapts explanations for the realization of trials and truth commissions and asks whether they also hold for reparations. The main question is, whether state elites chose Transitional Justice mechanisms for moral or tactical reasons. Hence, by analyzing reparations this book can also help us to reappraise the validity of popular explanations for other Transitional Justice mechanisms. Studying the democratic transitions in South America in the 1980ies this book shows that reparations were often paid to justify amnesty decisions for the perpetrators. When perpetrators and victims posed a credible threat for the incumbents, they implemented reparation programs while crimes of the past went unpunished. In most cases reparations were paid due to tactical convenience rather than moral commitment, which should be considered when we evaluate the concept of reparations.

Transitional justice refers to approaches that states use to address past human rights violations at the end of violence and repression. Providing reparations to victims, which can be understood as one of the main instruments of Transitional Justice, has so far received relatively little attention in the Transitional Justice literature. This book tries to fill this gap and asks why some states chose to implement reparation programs while others did not. Putting reparations into context this book adapts explanations for the realization of trials and truth commissions and asks whether they also hold for reparations. The main question is, whether state elites chose Transitional Justice mechanisms for moral or tactical reasons. Hence, by analyzing reparations this book can also help us to reappraise the validity of popular explanations for other Transitional Justice mechanisms. Studying the democratic transitions in South America in the 1980ies this book shows that reparations were often paid to justify amnesty decisions for the perpetrators. When perpetrators and victims posed a credible threat for the incumbents, they implemented reparation programs while crimes of the past went unpunished. In most cases reparations were paid due to tactical convenience rather than moral commitment, which should be considered when we evaluate the concept of reparations.