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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Spirits and social reconstruction after mass violence: rethinking transitional justice
Author:Baines, ErinISNI
Year:2010
Periodical:African affairs: the journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 0001-9909)
Volume:109
Issue:436
Pages:409-430
Language:English
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:conflict resolution
cosmology
Acholi
spirit possession
transitional justice
Link:http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=4ADABDA4EBF38C6CFF96
Abstract:A vibrant debate in the field of transitional justice concerns the relative ability of global, national, and local mechanisms to promote justice after violent conflict. Discussion largely focuses on more formal mechanisms of justice (courts, tribunals, or truth commissions), implying that State institutions and the law are solely responsible for shaping the process of social healing. This article suggests that scholars should take seriously more informal, sociocultural processes outside the purview of the State, particularly for how they promote social reconstruction at the micro level. Examining the phenomena of spirit possession and ritual cleansing in northern Uganda, the author illustrates how such efforts are expressions of injustice and reflect ordinary people's attempts to seek moral renewal and social repair. This approach is particularly illustrative in cases where 'intimate enemies' exist, that is, settings where ordinary people who engaged in violence against one another must live together again. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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