Strange Bedfellows: The Political Contradictions of Transitional Justice in Power Sharing Arrangements in South Sudan

  • Emmanuel Gore

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    In recent years, transitional justice has been characterised as politically contradictory. One important area of contradiction that has received little attention in the literature is the marriage of inconvenience between transitional justice and power sharing political arrangements in the wake of atrocious civil wars. The scope of this doctoral dissertation is to investigate the factors that contribute to the inclusion and exclusion of transitional justice provisions in power sharing agreements. Using transitional justice political contradictions in South Sudan’s two power sharing agreements, this study is based on qualitative case study in which I use elite interview as a method for collecting the primary data using in-depth semi-structured interviews. It is generally acknowledged in social research that data provided by the elites is rich and important, because such data usually elude the public domain. In this study I identify gaps in the existing literature in order to contribute original knowledge to the scarce social research on the nexus between transitional justice and power sharing in three profound ways. First, by analysing the history and development of transitional justiceand the evolution and institutionalisation of liberal human rightsfrom a critical peacebuilding perspective this study revealsthe historical factors that enabled the haphazard conjoining of transitional justice and power sharing, the resultant paradigm incoherence and hence the functional difficulty of operationalising the two paradigms in tandem. Second, this study analyses the role of political leaders in enabling and dismantling justice claims in the odd coupling of transitional justice and power sharing agreements. Third, the study stimulates a debate on the mandate of transitional justice, the nature of justice in transition, the timing of implementation, and the importance of reconciliation defined as a hybrid of restoration of both civic trust in the normative order, and the rebuilding of broken societal relationship through transformative justice that has as its foundation, the promotion and protection of economic, social, and cultural rights, rather than civil and political rights
    Date of Award2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMichaelina Jakala (Supervisor), Chuck Thiessen (Supervisor) & Alpaslan Ozerdem (Supervisor)

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