Opening or Closure? Possibilities and Limits of Transitional Justice in Africa


Location: Hesburgh Center, Room C103

Fanie Du Toit, executive director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa; Kroc Institute visiting research fellow

How does one begin a new political dispensation without ruling out, from the beginning, the possibility of a fresh start? On the other hand, how and when should one move beyond beginning? When should transition be embraced, and when consolidated? Can these agendas, transition and consolidation, co-exist as complementary political approaches—and if so, what can we learn from recent African experiences?

Drawing on a number of case studies from Africa, Du Toit will develop an argument for reconciliation as the recognition of interdependence—not only between those seeking to overcome enmity, but also between those seeking to create conditions for making the most of the creative possibilities that transition offers, and those who seek to close transition, limit uncertainty, and consolidate common ground.

Du Toit holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Oxford University.