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Taylor & Francis
‘The Pitfalls of Local involvement: Justice and Reconciliation in Cambodia, Kosovo and Timor-Leste’, Peacebuilding, 4 January 2017, online.
The critiques of the liberal peacebuilding framework led to recommendations of further enhancing local involvement during a peacebuilding process, including transitional justice. Previous studies highlight the importance of grounding transitional justice mechanisms on local contexts to better address the needs of victims in post-conflict societies. However, there are instances when local actors exploit the legitimacy of liberal institutions to advance their political interests or deny the pursuit of justice for the sake of short-term stability. This has happened in Cambodia, Kosovo and Timor-Leste when the decisions of the local elite failed to reflect the local aspirations for justice and reconciliation. This article raises caution over the potential pitfalls of exclusive local involvement in transitional justice.