Publication by DPDF 2013 Critical Approaches to Human Rights Research Director Chandra Lekha Sriram.
Recent scholarship in transitional justice has increasingly acknowledged that both the practice and study of justice in transition have focused almost exclusively upon violations of civil and political rights, and particularly of bodily integrity, to the relative exclusion of violations of economic, social, and cultural rights. This chapter examines one dimension of this emergent discussion, arguing that the exclusion of “socioeconomic concerns” derives in part from the degree to which many contemporary transitional justice processes are embedded in or shaped by liberal peacebuilding missions. It argues that as peacebuilding operations focus primarily upon democratization and marketization, they might be expected to focus upon the creation or restoration of core civil and political rights. Further, such operations may either overlook or be unable to respond to demands to address socioeconomic concerns, which may conflict with imperatives of marketization. The chapter calls for caution in response to calls for transitional justice to address socioeconomic concerns, given that the former is already overburdened with expectations and may not be well suited to respond to the latter.