Departmental Bulletin Paper Specific Incompleteness Elicited Complementary Action: Unexpected Legacy of the South African TRC

ABE, Toshihiro  ,  KHOISAN, Zenzile

39 ( 1 )  , pp.1 - 26 , 2018-03 , The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), (1) which has long been a leading reference case in transitional justice (TJ), has recently become a focus again in research into post-TJ social change. While its beginnings mainly focus on practical questions of success or failure for each TJ case, TJ studies have moved to more local-oriented topics, such as politics, perceptions, and reactions by local actors. This paper sets its analytical direction in this vein, starting to review the TRC in probing the conflictive motivations and actions of political stakeholders during the TRC’s active period. Being affected by such local politics, the TRC could not achieve what it held as official objectives. Incompleteness in the TRC’s outcomes has naturally been criticised by observers, yet after the end of the official programme, the incompleteness would turn into a catalyst for new movements by civil society actors. We incorporate the concept of propagation of movement repertoire from social movement theory to understand the unexpected legacy of the TRC and draw the current social actions that spontaneously suture the incompleteness of the TRC’s activities.

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