Steps to lasting peace: Investigating the peace-transitional justice nexus
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What are the steps to sustainable peace? While most of the literature in the peace research program treats the longevity of peace mainly as a factor of the inclusiveness of the peace agreement that end civil wars; the argument in this paper is that the duration of peace is more likely to be predicated both on the inclusiveness of the peace agreement as well as the transitional justice processes thereof. Based on the analysis of a new dataset that borrows from the UCDP/PRIO data on civil wars on one hand and the transition justice database (TJDB) on the other, for the period 1970-2010, I contend that the length of peace is strongly related to factors around both the nature of peace agreements and the forms of transition justice following civil wars. The findings suggest that retributive transitional justice mechanisms seem to have a generally negative and/or insignificant impact on peace duration while restorative transitional justice mechanisms particularly reparation of victims of civil war atrocities by the perpetrators seem to have the potential for leading to sustainable peace. In this direction, this study comes to the conclusion that there is potential in factoring-in transitional justice mechanisms in future models for the duration of peace. Of particular interest for future research would be a more elaborate and empirically nuanced approach to peace duration that involves a broader temporal and spatial scope while considering other predictor variables not addressed herein and/or mentioned in passing.