Addressing human rights violations of the past through transitional justice (TJ) mechanisms is a persistent demand in many countries emerging from violent conflict, and has a central place in the evolving UN policy framework for peacebuilding. Yet mechanisms such as trials and truth commissions are sometimes aborted or deferred through compromises, often have unclear impact, and at times produce unintended consequences.

This project seeks to provide a better understanding of the political forces driving the establishment and operation of TJ mechanisms. It examines national as well as international actors in these processes, and places special emphasis on the interplay between them. This is an area that has received scant attention in the burgeoning literature on transitional justice. The actor perspective has been explored separately in studies of local justice processes on the one hand, and of international justice dynamics, on the other. However, little research has been done on the interplay between local, national and international actors in these processes. This  study will fill some of this gap by examining processes of interaction and bargaining in the set-up and development of TJ initiatives.