Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Nepal
The civil conflict in Nepal (1996 - 2006) resulted in an estimated 15,000 deaths, 1,300 disappearances, along with other serious human rights and humanitarian law violations. In the wake of the conflict, there have been major changes in the social and political landscape in Nepal. However, the transitional justice process has remained deeply contentious and fragmented.
Transitional Justice in Nepal: Interests, Victims and Agency was published by Routledge in June. Written by Dr Yvette Selim, Senior Research Associate and Lecturer at the UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance, the book is the first single case study of transitional justice in Nepal.
The book provides an in-depth analysis of the differing viewpoints, knowledge, attitudes and preferences about transitional justice and other post-conflict issues in Nepal. It includes interviews with victims, ex-combatants, community members, human rights advocates, journalists and representatives from diplomatic missions, international organisations and the donor community.
The book explores the politics versus justice binary, the concept of victimhood and participatory activities, and in doing so makes a theoretical and empirical contribution to transitional justice research in Nepal and the Asia-Pacific more broadly.
Dr Selim argues that transitional justice is both a producer and a product of politics, however too often transitional justice is employed with little appreciation of the politics in the post-conflict landscape. She offers an innovative theoretical framework to understand the politics of transitional justice. She demonstrates actors frequently seek to advance their interests and make claims utilising the process, institutions and language of transitional justice and between these actors considerable political activity takes place that challenges transitional justice on multiple levels.
Dr Selim also argues that dealing with the legacy of violence in a manner that resonates with victims and affected community members requires meaningful participatory processes that go beyond information sharing and consultation. While the multitude of voices at the local level may complicate current transitional justice approaches, she suggests if they are heeded they will provide greater potential for addressing victims’ concerns and everyday needs. This grounded approach will ensure that transitional justice is more victim-centric and context-specific.
Transitional Justice in Nepal: Interests, Victims and Agency will be of interest to a wide range of scholars in the study of transitional justice, peace and conflict studies, human rights, sociology, political science, criminology, law, anthropology and South Asian Studies, as well as policymakers and NGOs.
The book can be ordered from the publisher, Routledge.