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Transformative justice, violence and crime, and civil society in post transition South Africa: a case study of the Khayelitsha Commission

Riffler, Vera Paulina (2017) Transformative justice, violence and crime, and civil society in post transition South Africa: a case study of the Khayelitsha Commission. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Post-transition countries are often challenged by increasing levels of violence and crime, inequality, and weak institutions. In consequence, calls have been made for a holistic model that addresses broader transformation in post-transition societies through the use of transformative justice. By addressing socio-economic and local needs, and establishing effective channels for genuine participation, transformative justice aims to contribute to a more positive and social form of peace; that is, through tackling the structural causes of conflict and the entrenched systems of inequality. However, transformative justice is a fairly new concept and lacks empirical research and practice. The thesis aims to advance the conceptualisation of transformative justice through making both empirical and theoretical contributions. It will do this by probing and applying its main elements to a case study and researching the state of post-transition South Africa with a particular focus on structural inequalities, violence and crime, and civil society activism. Moving from a case study of local needs and civil society responses to violence and crime in Khayelitsha, South Africa, the research interrogates transformative justice’s claim to contribute to tackling structural inequalities as the causes of violence and crime. The research elaborates on how inequality, in terms of accessing justice and security, is a result of the structural inequalities that impact people’s needs and responses in relation to violence and crime. In consequence, local security and justice approaches range from the preventive to the punitive, and even include violent measures. Moreover, the thesis finds that there is a continued divide between the world of rights and retribution in Khayelitsha. Finally, the research shows how the heterogeneous landscape of local civil society actors who are active in the field of justice and security, both limit and contribute to the implementation of a successful transformative justice approach.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: transformative justice, South Africa, civil society, violence, crime, vigilante justice, Khayelitsha Commission
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: Ms Vera Paulina Riffler
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 11:55
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 11:55
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20508

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