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Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

The concept of transitional justice occupies an important place in the study of the problem of peace, conflict resolution and social cohesion in the so-called transitional societies, being an integral part of contemporary mainstream political discourse. Within the framework of this discourse, the practice of transitional justice is positioned as necessary condition for overcoming the legacy of the repressive regimes of the past and achieving public consensus in fragile post-conflict societies, which were once highly polarized and, as a result, characterized by a weak common civic identity. The main body of research is devoted to the analysis of various aspects of transitional justice; by default, it is considered as taken for granted. The research is limited to the analysis of its particular problems and contradictions not questioning its relevance to the specifics of the tasks it was designed to solve. As a result, a fairly consistent picture has emerged that depicts a movement of societies once torn apart by civil and military conflicts in a single direction – towards democracy and market economy, a movement where transitional justice procedures perform the most important functions of reconciliation and restoration of violated rights, contributing to the achievement of basic social cohesion. At the same time, the analysis of specific cases of transitional justice implementation in a broader socio-political context provokes doubts in the idea that the weaknesses of transitional justice, identified and described by mainstream theories, are not of structural nature, but rather particular and situational ones. In this regard, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive consideration of the phenomenon of transitional justice involving the methodology of critical analysis. This article proves that transitional justice could not be seen as an adequate responseto the complex challenges facing contemporary societies burdened with acute socioeconomic and political contradictions. As a part of a global neoliberal project, transitional justice solves only specific problems, and is rather aimed at consolidating the neoliberal status quo. Transitional justice is not a reliable way to achieve social cohesion in postconflict societies, destabilized by hidden and overt tensions. The model of social cohesion it produces is a very fragile construct built on a negative image of the past and based on the rent principle of benefits and privileges distribution by the beneficiaries of the new regime. Solving the structural problems and contradictions that actually underlie the conflicts and instability in the so-called societies in transition, require not just a revision of particular practices and institutions, but a radical reformatting of the global political paradigm, which should be centered around the concept of socio-economic justice.
Keywords: transitional justice; social cohesion; neoliberalism; socio-economic justice; politics of memory.
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