Justice in Transition: The Micropolitics of Reconciliation in Postwar Peru


Theidon, Kimberly S. 2006. “Justice in Transition: The Micropolitics of Reconciliation in Postwar Peru.” Journal of Conflict Resolution. Journal of Conflict Resolution. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/y3lwcv2k

Date Published:

Jun 1, 2006


This article draws on anthropological research conducted with communities in Ayacucho, the region of Peru that suffered the greatest loss of life during the internal armed conflict of the 1980s and 1990s. One particularity of internal wars, such as Peru’s, is that foreign armies do not wage the attacks: frequently, the enemy is a son-in-law, a godfather, an old schoolmate, or the community that lies just across the valley. The charged social landscape of the present reflects the lasting damage done by a recent past in which people saw just what their neighbors could do. The author contributes to the literature on transitional justice by examining the construction and deconstruction of lethal violence among "intimate enemies" and by analyzing how the concepts and practices of communal justice have permitted the development of a micropolitics of reconciliation in which campesinos administer both retributive and restorative forms of justice.


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