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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A truth commision goes abroad: Liberian transitional justice in New York
Author:Steinberg, JonnyISNI
Year:2011
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Volume:110
Issue:438
Pages:35-53
Language:English
Geographic terms:Liberia
United States
Subjects:truth and reconciliation commissions
transitional justice
diasporas
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/41240168
Abstract:In 2007, Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) took its work to the Liberian diaspora in the United States. Judging by levels of public participation, the campaign was poorly received. This article tells two parallel stories. The first recounts the pressures that compelled the TRC to go to the United States. The second is an account of conflict in a Liberian community in New York. The article's denouement is the moment the two stories meet: the arrival of the TRC in New York and the Liberian community's response to it. The article's goals are twofold. In documenting a diaspora community's ambivalence to the work of its TRC, the author offers a critique of the genre of transitional justice bequeathed to the world by South Africa's TRC and inherited by Liberia, one in which a promiscuous collection of vaguely defined ideas relating to truth, healing, and reconciliation is deployed to conceal pragmatic compromise. Second, he captures a distinctive feature of life in exile: the constitution of a theatre of power that mimics the trajectory of political life back home, and yet uses issues germane to the host country as matters of controversy. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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