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(Im)Possibilities of a Comparative Approach to Transitional Justice

In 2018, Taiwan installed a Transitional Justice Commission to deal with its authoritarian past. To gain a better understanding of different approaches which could be applied domestically, Taiwanese scholars consulted the experiences of different countries, like Chile and Argentina, Japan and Korea, Germany, South Africa and many other democracies which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Within this comparative research, Germany and South Africa stood out as having executed two possible yet very different models of coming to terms with their own past. However, when one compares the internal discourse in the respective countries with the reception of both ‘models’ in Taiwan, one can discern some considerable differences.

This forum therefore seeks to explore how the German experience of ‘coming to terms with the past’ and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission are evaluated inside and outside the respective countries through comparison. How are democracies that undergo the process of transitional justice relying on the experience of Germany and South Africa to deal with their own past? Are there any differences in how these experiences are evaluated inside and outside the countries? How does an incomplete, distorted, or biased reception of the German and South African ‘model’ reflect in the domestic implementation of transitional justice policies in other countries? And what does this mean for comparative approaches to transitional justice research in general? These are some questions which will be explored.

The discussions are set to take place once a week, starting from Wednesday, the 15th of June 2022, at 1pm (SAST). Each session lasting approximately 90 minutes consisting of a 60 minute moderated discussion followed by a 30 minute Q&A session. The first three events are dedicated to the three respective countries. During the first roundtable, Taiwanese scholars will discuss the current state of transitional justice in Taiwan. During the second and third session, the Taiwanese reception of the German and South African model is going to be evaluated by German and South African experts in the field. The last discussion serves as a wrap-up, where common themes of transitional justice will be explored, and open questions re-addressed.

Register for this online discussion forum using the link: https://bit.ly/3LKCi5G

For more information please visit: https://ctholocaust.co.za/transitional-justice/


Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies

Department of East Asian Studies
University of Vienna
AAKH-Campus, Hof 2, Entrance 2.3
Spitalgasse 2
1090 Vienna Austria

Contact: Astrid Lipinsky
T: +43-1-4277-43844
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0
Lastupdate: 07.01.2017 - 21:57