The main objective of Beyond the Binary is to place on record the need to formulate answers to the question of the role that criminal action and punishment should play in negotiated political transitions from war to peace.
Discussions on the meaning and scope of concepts such as justice, accountability, and victim satisfaction continue to be fervent topics in specialized circles of what is now konwn as “the transitional justice field,” and in societies suffering from mass violence.
Instead of solving the practical and theoretical delemmas of these interpretatives disputes, the experience and knowledge accumulated over the more than three decades that this field has been in existence have served only to deepen the debates and to adapt more of these discussions to new and constantly-changing scenarios and contexts.
The main objective of Beyond the Binary is to place on record the need to formulate answers to the question of the role that criminal action and punishment should play in negotiated political transitions from war to peace. There are two reasons for our making this observation.
On one hand, given the institutional, legal, and political challenges facing societies that nowadays attempt to take this step, there is a need for the issue to be analyzed.
On the other hand, the conclussion reached from an initial analysis is that the academic and practical discussion seems to be trapped into a polarizing discussion between those who defend a legal interpretation of the duty to investigate, prosecute, and punish, which appears to threaten the possibility of achieveing negotiated transitions, and those who, in order to prevent that risk, deny or resent the existence or consolidation of such a principle.
The central purpose of this book is to initiate a conversation on how to resolve difficult dilemmas. We appreciate that some of the proposals may come across as controversial, but what we are looking for is, precisely, to open up the possibility of thinking in innovative ways about how to confront these challenges.
This book has been written by:
Nelson Camilo Sánchez
Tara Van Ho