Archiving Justice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter interrogates this link between archives and transitional justice, and idea of justice more generally, in three parts. First I examine the ways in which the archive reinforces core aspects of transitional justice as practice and a set of normative values. This does so by both focusing on the support role that archives play in rendering justice a possibility (and in many cases beckoning a ‘justice to come’)(Derrida 1992; and 2001), and second viewing the archive as itself a site of justice in and of itself. The second section turns to a more critical assessment of the relationship between archives and justice, as I explore the archive’s logics, and drive. Ultimately, this points to the role that archives play in the governance – and disciplining – of community, and shows a concerning synergy between archival practice and the very violence that transitional justice (claims to) confront. The final section looks at practices that might offer a way in which a more transformative vision of archive and community can emerge. This both focuses on what Stewart Motha and Honni van Rijswijk (2016) have called the ‘counter-archive’ and explicitly points to the possibility of alternative archival practices that drawn on an aesthetic approach to the production of knowledge, and community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Transitional Justice
EditorsMeierhenrich Jens, Hinton Alexander, Douglas Lawrence
Place of PublicationOxford
ISBN (Electronic)9780191774461
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2023


  • Archive
  • Transitional Justice
  • Peacebuilding


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