South Africa and Northern Ireland have experienced bitter ethnonational conflicts in which thetransition to a peaceful political settlement has been characterized by crime and violence. In the case of Northern Ireland, this transition is still ongoing. This article examines the alternativepolicing and informal justice mechanisms, which have developed in the townships of South Africa and within the working-class districts of Northern Ireland. These mechanisms offer the inhabitants of such areas instant redress and retributive justice. This article is also concerned with the community-based restorative justice projects, which have been established in certain areas within both countries and examines whether such projects have an impact on vigilante attacks in South Africa and paramilitary “punishments” in Northern Ireland.
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- Restorative justice
- retributive justice
- postconflict societies