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Overcoming intractability : identity and intergroup reconciliation in transitional justice Aiken, Nevin Thomas 2010

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OVERCOMING INTRACTABILITY: IDENTITY AND INTERGROUP RECONCILIATION IN TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE by Nevin Thomas Aiken B.A. Hons, The University of Western Ontario, 2003 M.A., The University of Western Ontario, 2004  A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FUFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Political Science)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) July 2010 © Nevin Thomas Aiken 2010  Abstract Drawing upon an interdisciplinary synthesis of literature from political science, social psychology, and peace and conflict studies, this dissertation seeks to construct a theoretical framework capable of tracing the complex linkages between identity, transitional justice, and intergroup reconciliation in the post-conflict environments of deeply divided societies. An innovative ‘social learning’ model of this complex interrelationship is introduced, one which suggests that transitional justice strategies will be most successful in promoting intergroup reconciliation to the degree that they are able to catalyze crucial processes of instrumental, socioemotional, and distributive learning amongst former antagonists by promoting contact, dialogue, truth, justice, and the amelioration of structural and material inequalities – all factors identified in existing scholarship as necessary, if not sufficient, conditions for post-conflict reconciliation in divided societies. Employing a methodology of theoretically oriented systematic process analysis, this social learning model is tested through a critical examination of the very different transitional justice approaches adopted in South Africa and Northern Ireland. In South Africa, transitional justice centered on the highly regarded Truth and Reconciliation Commission, designed to address apartheid-era abuses committed between black and white South Africans. In Northern Ireland, a much more ‘decentralized’ approach has combined discrete government programs with an array of ‘bottom-up’ civil society initiatives to deal with the legacy of violence between Nationalist and Unionist communities committed during the ‘Troubles.’ Through extensive desk research and four months of qualitative field research conducted in 2008 (which included 85 in-depth expert interviews), suggestive evidence is found to support the underlying supposition that, at least in deeply divided societies, the causal relationship between transitional justice and reconciliation remains heavily mediated by the politics of identity. More specifically, in both Northern Ireland and South Africa, the transitional justice strategies employed appear to have been successful in contributing to post-conflict reconciliation to the extent to which they have been able to successfully promote a combination of the instrumental, socioemotional, and distributive forms of learning identified in the theoretical model. This study concludes by considering the policy implications of this analysis for ‘best practices’ in the design of future transitional justice strategies in deeply divided societies.  ii  Table of Contents 	
    Abstract.............................................................................................................................ii Table of Contents.......................................................................................................... iii List of Figures ..................................................................................................................v Acknowledgements........................................................................................................vi Dedication…………………………………………………………………………………..vii Chapter I Introduction: Identity, Reconciliation, and Transitional Justice.................................................1 A Social Learning Model of Transitional Justice ......................................................................... 5 The Structure of the Study: Research Design and Methodology ............................................. 9 Chapter II: Building Theory and Deriving Predictions .........................................................12 Chapters III and IV: The Case Studies of Northern Ireland and South Africa ...............14 Making Structured and Focused Observations......................................................................17 Chapter V: Drawing Conclusions..............................................................................................23  Chapter II Theoretical Framework: A Social Learning Model of Transitional Justice ................................................ 25 The Politics of Identity.................................................................................................................... 26 Intergroup Reconciliation……………………………………………………………………………..44 Transitional Justice and the Politics of Identity........................................................................ 53 Social Learning and Transitional Justice..................................................................................... 64 Instrumental Learning .................................................................................................................... 68 Positive Intergroup Contact ..................................................................................................69 Transformative Dialogue.......................................................................................................74 Distributive Learning ...................................................................................................................... 79 The Amelioration of Structural and Material Inequalities..............................................80 Socioemotional Learning ................................................................................................................ 85 Justice ........................................................................................................................................85 Truth ..........................................................................................................................................89 Precipitating Conditions ................................................................................................................. 95 The Existence of a Negative Peace .......................................................................................95 The Presence of Conducive Elites or Entrepreneurs........................................................96 A Social Learning Model of Transitional Justice ....................................................................... 98  Chapter III Case Study: Decentralized Transitional Justice in Northern Ireland................................. 103 The Troubles...............................................................................................................................109 Decentralized Transitional Justice .......................................................................................114 Distributive Learning in Northern Ireland ................................................................................117 Distributive Reforms.................................................................................................................123 Restoring Equity and Equality: The Impact on Social Learning and Reconciliation ...129 Socioemotional Learning in Northern Ireland..........................................................................136 Decentralized Efforts to Achieve ‘Truth’ and ‘Justice’ ......................................................141 Victim Acknowledgement and Support............................................................................142 Prisoner Release and Reintegration ..................................................................................148  iii  Legal Investigations into the Past ......................................................................................154 Civil Society and Local Community Initiatives ...............................................................164 Limits to Socioemotional Learning in Northern Ireland....................................................170 Instrumental Learning in Northern Ireland ..............................................................................176 (Re)Building ‘Community Relations’ ......................................................................................180 Central and Local Government Interventions .................................................................182 Civil Society and Local Community Initiatives ...............................................................184 Effective Community Relations Strategies ...........................................................................186 Educational Initiatives..........................................................................................................194 The Impact of Community Relations Work on Instrumental Learning ..........................200 Conclusion: Decentralized Transitional Justice and Intergroup Reconciliation .....................................204  Chapter IV Case Study: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission............................ 214 The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission ...................................................220 Overcoming Intractability in South Africa................................................................................228 Instrumental Learning and the South African TRC ................................................................234 The Importance of Instrumental Learning in Post-Apartheid South Africa ..................237 Encounter and Interracial Contact in the South African TRC ..........................................241 Societal Dialogue and Social Learning in the South African TRC....................................248 The Role of Civil Society: Encounter and Dialogue After the TRC ..................................256 Distributive Learning and the South African TRC ..................................................................261 Distributive Interventions Within the South African TRC ................................................265 Reparations, Reconciliation, and the TRC........................................................................272 Distributive Interventions Post-TRC ......................................................................................278 Socioemotional Learning and the South African TRC ............................................................282 Truth Through the TRC............................................................................................................282 Socioemotional Learning from the TRC’s Truth.............................................................289 Achieving Justice Through the TRC.......................................................................................296 The Impact of the TRC’s Justice on Social Learning......................................................308 Conclusion: Assessing the TRC's Impact on Intergroup Reconciliation ...................................................311 Positive Contributions to Social Learning by the TRC .......................................................317 Limits on Social Learning and Reconciliation Through the TRC .....................................322  Chapter V Conclusion: Insights and Implications for Transitional Justice .......................................... 333 Key Findings....................................................................................................................................334 Insights for 'Best Practices' in Transitional Justice ................................................................341 Future Research..............................................................................................................................350  Bibliography ............................................................................................................... 358 Appendix I: UBC Research Ethics Board Approval .......................................... 389 Appendix II: Northern Ireland Expert Interviewees........................................ 390 Appendix III: South Africa Expert Interviewees............................................... 391 Appendix IV: Sample Expert Interview Questions........................................... 392  iv  List of Figures 	
    2.1  A Social Learning Model of Transitional Justice……………………99  	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    v  Acknowledgements The author wishes to extend his sincere thanks to all those who made this study possible. First, particular gratitude is due to my dissertation committee, including Professors Richard Price (advisor), Diane Mauzy, and Brian Job from the University of British Columbia. Their dedication, guidance, and support for this project over the years will always be greatly appreciated. This project is much richer for their thoughtful comments, critiques, and suggestions. Second, I would like to express my appreciation for those individuals in Northern Ireland and South Africa who agreed to be interviewed for this study. The ‘insider’s perspective’ that these interviewees provided proved to be an invaluable resource and this study greatly benefitted from their time and generosity. Third, I would like to extend particular thanks to Dr. Joanna Quinn of the University of Western Ontario who first introduced me to the field of transitional justice and who has continued to be a constant source of support ever since. Finally, my deepest thanks to Julia C. Obert of the University of California, Irvine who has been there every step of the way and whose conversations and countless hours of editing helped to shape this project from concept to completion. Substantial funding for this project came from a variety of sources. Support included a CGS Doctoral Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), a Security and Defence Forum Doctoral Scholarship from the Canadian Department of National Defence, a Human Security Fellowship from the Canadian Consortium on Human Security (CCHS), and a Kugelman Citizen Peacebuilding Fellowship from the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding at the University of California, Irvine. Special thanks are also due to Dr. Cecelia Lynch and the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Irvine who, in addition to extending financial support, also provided a stimulating environment for research and writing by generously hosting the author as a Visiting Research Fellow from 2006-2010.  vi  Because of Jules ml, tg  vii  Chapter I Introduction: Identity, Reconciliation, and Transitional Justice 	
   	
   The field of transitional justice has emerged in recent years as a distinct area of scholarship concerned with the study of the processes and mechanisms used by local communities, states, or international actors to provide justice and accountability in the wake of gross violations of human rights.  While the modern roots of transitional justice can be traced back to the  Nuremberg Trials following the Second World War, the growth in scholarly interest in these mechanisms only began in earnest following an exponential increase in their use in the early 1990s.1  No longer subject to the exigencies of Cold War politics, a number of states began  ‘transitioning’ away from histories of government repression and internal conflict towards new societies committed – at least in theory – to democracy and sustainable peace. A key component of these transitions for many states involved finding new and innovative ways to deal with issues of accountability for the legacies of violence, gross human rights abuses, and acts of ‘mass atrocity’ carried out in the past – legacies which, in many cases, involved the commission of  1  This period itself followed on the widespread use of ‘truth commissions’ as institutions of transitional justice in Latin America and Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. See Priscilla B. Hayner, "Fifteen Truth Commissions - 1974 to 1994: A Comparative Study," Human Rights Quarterly 16, no. 4 (1994); ———, Unspeakable Truths: Facing the Challenges of Truth Commissions (London: Routledge, 2002).  1  ‘extraordinary crimes’ such as mass murder, forced ‘disappearances,’ systematic rape, acts of genocide, and other ‘crimes against humanity.’2 In part, the drive to deal with these crimes was a function of an emerging ‘norm of accountability’ within the international community following the Second World War, one linked to the formation of the United Nations and the creation of an international human rights regime based on the concept of universal human rights.3 In essence, this new norm of accountability placed both a moral and a legal duty on states, obligations increasingly codified over time in an emerging body of international human rights law, to take action to end impunity and provide justice for those individuals who committed gross human rights abuses within their borders. Where states were unable or otherwise unwilling to take up this task, the international community itself increasingly assumed this responsibility, as evidenced both by the United Nations’ founding of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda during the 1990s and the more recent establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002. However, the increase in the use of transitional justice strategies has also been tied to a growing consensus among both scholars and practitioners in the field that such strategies have a crucial part to play in supporting processes of reconciliation in transitional societies. More specifically, it has been increasingly recognized that these justice mechanisms are key to achieving sustainable peace in post-conflict societies, as they can help to prevent past abuses from serving as the basis for future returns to violence and can aid processes of societal reconciliation by helping those divided by past violence to put aside their antagonisms and begin  2  On the evolution of the ‘norm of accountability’ see Edward Newman, "Transitional Justice: The Impact of Transnational Norms and the U.N.," International Peacekeeping 9, no. 2 (2002). On the concept of ‘extraordinary crimes’ see Mark A. Drumbl, "Collective Violence and Individual Punishment: The Criminality of Mass Atrocity," Northwestern University Law Review 99, no. 2 (2005).  3  Jack Donnelly, Universal Human Rights in Theory & Practice, 2nd ed. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003).  2  to build new, more conciliatory relationships with one another. Nonetheless, while there is virtual consensus that a relationship exists between transitional justice, reconciliation, and sustainable peace, to date the actual processes underlying this relationship have been left surprisingly unspecified and undertheorized in the literature. Indeed, reflecting on the current state of the field, Audrey Chapman notes that “systematic research on [societal] reconciliation is just beginning…we do not yet have clear procedures for how to achieve reconciliation, or even for measuring and evaluating the success of efforts to that end.”4 In particular, insufficient consideration has been given to specifying and studying empirically the linkages between these institutional mechanisms and the social and psychological changes that are ultimately necessary to facilitate processes of reconciliation in post-conflict societies. As a direct result, there still exists no clear understanding of what ‘best practices’ might be drawn from existing strategies and adapted to guide policy in future societies seeking to use transitional justice mechanisms to facilitate reconciliation. This study begins to address these critical gaps. I contend that these gaps can be attributed to two interrelated factors. First, I argue that a shortcoming of much of the existing transitional justice literature is that it tends to overlook the collectivized nature of the mass violence, repression, and gross human rights violations to which transitional mechanisms respond. As legal scholar Mark Drumbl has noted, the extraordinary crimes for which transitional justice mechanisms provide accountability are extraordinary not just for the scope of their violence, but for the fact that they are inherently tied to group membership and committed on the basis of collective religious, ethnic, or national identity. In fact, such violations are almost exclusively carried out against “large numbers of individuals based on their actual or perceived membership in a particular group that has become selected as a  4  Audrey R. Chapman, "Approaches to Studying Reconciliation," in Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice: Challenges for Empirical Research, ed. Hugo van der Merwe, Victoria Baxter, and Audrey R. Chapman (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2009).  3  target on discriminatory grounds.”5 However, when most of the studies in the field consider the appropriate design of justice strategies for addressing these crimes, and, more specifically, the ways in which these institutions might contribute to reconciliation in deeply divided societies, attention to the ‘communality’ of mass violence seems to wane. While the literature focuses on how large-scale violence might demand different structural designs and strategies than those normally employed for the ‘rule-breaking’ behavior of ‘ordinary’ domestic crime, rarely does it reflect on the role that these justice mechanisms must play in directly challenging collective animosities to move groups divided by past violence toward reconciliation and sustainable peace.6 Accordingly, I contend that what is required by way of uncovering the relationship between transitional justice and reconciliation is a reconsideration of institutional design that begins by engaging the fundamental issues of collective identity at the root of gross human rights violations, and that considers how the strategies employed by transitional institutions might contribute to overcoming antagonisms linked to group identifications that might otherwise threaten to incite future returns to violence. Second, and in direct relation, I suggest that the inherently comparative and institutional focus of much of the existing transitional justice literature may have itself inadvertently prevented fruitful engagements with other disciplines that have closely investigated issues of 5  Mark A. Drumbl, Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). Here one can think of the mass killings carried out against members of the Jewish faith during the Holocaust, the violence those defined ethnically as Tutsi during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the ‘ethnic cleansings’ of national groups throughout the Former Yugoslavia during the Balkan conflicts of the early 1990s, or the entrenched system of racial discrimination that permeated the apartheid era in South Africa. These were all crimes targeted against individuals not as individuals per se, but based solely on their inclusions as members of a broader ‘group identity.’  6  There are several notable exceptions which should be mentioned. In particular, see Nevin T. Aiken, "Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and the Politics of Identity: Insights for Restoration and Reconciliation in Transitional Justice," Peace Research: The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies 40, no. 2 (2008); ———, "Learning to Live Together: Transitional Justice and Intergroup Reconciliation in Northern Ireland," The International Journal of Transitional Justice 4, no. 2 (2010); ———, "The (Re)Construction of a Culture of Human Rights: Transitional Justice and Human Security," Human Security Journal 8(Spring 2009); Drumbl, Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law; Laurel E. Fletcher and Harvey M. Weinstein, "Violence and Social Repair: Rethinking the Contributions of Justice to Reconciliation," Human Rights Quarterly 24(2002); James L. Gibson, Overcoming Apartheid (New York: Russell Sage, 2004); Harvey M. Weinsten and Eric Stover, eds., My Neighbor, My Enemy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).  4  identity and reconciliation. In particular, there exists to date very limited dialogue between transitional justice scholars (the majority of whom come from traditions of legal scholarship and human rights advocacy, as well as from practitioner backgrounds) and the growing body of ‘conflict transformation’ scholarship developed by academics working in the related disciplines of political science, peace and conflict studies, and social psychology that engages directly with the complex dynamics of how post-conflict societies are able to move towards more reconciled relations. In particular, recent conflict transformation work has highlighted the central role that group or ‘collective’ identities play in the commission and perpetuation of ethnonational violence within the state, and has suggested the need to transform these identities and their antagonistic relationships in pursuit of intergroup reconciliation and sustainable peace.7 However, to date no attempt has yet been made to synthesize the structural and institutional insights of transitional justice and the social and psychological theories of identity and intergroup reconciliation recently developed in the conflict transformation literature.8 This study contends that such theoretical cross-fertilization and interdisciplinary analysis will ultimately prove necessary to tracing the causal path between transitional justice and reconciliation in postconflict societies.  A SOCIAL LEARNING MODEL OF TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE By bringing these two bodies of literature into dialogue with one another, this study aims to contribute to the burgeoning field of transitional justice by developing a new and innovative  7  Perhaps the most succinct review of this argument can be found among the contributions to Yaacov Bar-SimanTov, ed. From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). See also Herbert C. Kelman, "The Role of National Identity in Conflict Resolution," in Social Identity, Intergroup Conflict, and Conflict Reduction, ed. Richard D. Ashmore, Lee Jussim, and David Wilder (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001); —— —, "Transforming the Relationship between Former Enemies: A Social-Psychological Analysis," in After the Peace: Resistance and Reconciliation, ed. Robert L. Rothstein (Boulder: Lynne-Rienner, 1999).  8  A similar point is raised in Yaacob Bar-Siman-Tov, "Dialectics between Stable Peace and Reconciliation," in From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation, ed. Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).  5  theoretical framework that seeks to open the ‘black box’ surrounding existing understandings of the causal relationship between transitional justice and reconciliation in societies that have been deeply divided by a history of violence between collective identity groups. In so doing, it will also help to provide a much-needed ‘baseline’ by which the relative utility of different justice strategies might be assessed. In particular, following on the work of conflict transformation scholars, the underlying contention of this theoretical model is that the crucial connections between transitional justice and reconciliation can be uncovered by analyzing how transitional mechanisms interact with the ‘politics of identity’ in post-conflict societies; namely, how the processes and mechanisms employed by these strategies can work to impede or impel the transformation of the antagonistic identifications and relationships between former enemies ultimately required for intergroup reconciliation and sustainable peace.9 More specifically, through this model it is hypothesized that the causal path connecting transitional justice and reconciliation is dependent on the ability of these strategies to serve as catalysts for ‘social learning’ in transitional societies. Social learning is defined here as the set of social and psychological processes by which former enemies come to reassess the hostile perceptions and negative beliefs they once held about one another and to create a more positive system of relationships governing their interactions.10 These processes, I argue, serve as the crucial ‘lynch-pins’ in the causal path linking transitional justice and intergroup reconciliation, offering the means for former antagonists to be brought together to condemn past violence and to challenge – and potentially transform – the entrenched mistrust, hostility, and prejudice that might otherwise threaten to incite future returns to violence. Building on its synthesis of the  9  This definition of ‘identity politics’ is borrowed from Klaus Eder et al., Collective Identities in Action: A Scoiological Approach to Ethnicity (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002). For a similar perspective from social psychology, see Thomas Hylland Eriksen, "Ethnic Identity, National Identity, and Intergroup Conflict," in Social Identity, Intergroup Conflict, and Conflict Reduction, ed. Richard D. Ashmore, Lee Jussim, and David Wilder (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).  10  See also Bar-Siman-Tov, "Dialectics between Stable Peace and Reconciliation."  6  conflict transformation and transitional justice literatures, this model focuses on a set of key mechanisms of social learning that are widely identified as being necessary, if perhaps not sufficient, conditions for fostering intergroup reconciliation in post-conflict environments. It is these mechanisms of social learning that are therefore proposed as the central causal processes mediating the link between transitional justice and reconciliation – essentially, the contents of the ‘black box.’ The social learning framework was derived through a substantial period of engagement with existing scholarship from conflict transformation and transitional justice and represents a distillation of the main points of consensus consistently identified in these literatures as the crucial factors necessary to promoting intergroup reconciliation in deeply divided societies transitioning from legacies of past conflict.11 While this social learning model is taken up in much greater detail in Chapter II, the key causal mechanisms it proposes essentially fall into three broad categories.12 The first, ‘instrumental learning,’ refers to interventions that focus on rebuilding relationships and mindsets between formerly divided groups in the present. The foremost of these instrumental learning mechanisms is the promotion of new forms of positive contact between former antagonists. In large part, this argument draws on insights from the long-standing ‘contact hypothesis’ in social psychology that suggests how renewed interaction can facilitate reconciliation by helping to rebuild trust, reduce prejudice, and challenge misperceptions about former enemies. I therefore hold that providing opportunities for sustained  11  While these claims will be discussed in much greater detail as this study unfolds, see Richard D. Ashmore, Lee Jussim, and David Wilder, eds., Social Identity, Intergroup Conflict, and Conflict Reduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press,2001); Bar-Siman-Tov, ed. From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation; Daniel Bar-Tal, "From Intractable Conflict through Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation: Psychological Analysis," Political Psychology 21, no. 1 (2000); Miles Hewstone and Rupert Brown, eds., Contact and Conflict in Intergroup Encounters (Oxford: Oxford University Press,1986); John Paul Lederach, Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1997).  12  As discussed in Chapter II, the labels for these three ‘types’ of social learning are adapted from Arie Nadler and Nurit Shnabel, "Instrumental and Socioemotional Paths to Intergroup Reconciliation," in The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation, ed. Arie Nadler, Thomas E. Malloy, and Jeffrey D. Fisher (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). See also Aiken, "Learning to Live Together."  7  positive contact is the first step in moving divided groups in post-conflict societies away from polarized ‘Us versus Them’ identities towards a more inclusive ‘We’ in which more cooperative relationships can become the norm. The second of these mechanisms is often directly tied to contact, and involves interventions to renew meaningful dialogue and communication across group boundaries. Nearly all conflict transformation scholars agree that dialogue is vital for breaking down negative beliefs among former enemies and for developing a more inclusive sense of shared identification. The next broad category of social learning processes falls under what I call ‘socioemotional learning’ – efforts centered on reducing grievances, anger, and negative beliefs between groups tied to past violence, including interventions to provide both ‘justice’ and ‘truth.’ These interventions must aim to reduce the sense of injustice caused by past abuses by acknowledging the worth of victims and the wrongness of the harms done to them, and by in some way also taking action to prevent impunity by holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. In addition to justice, there is a growing consensus that social learning also requires efforts to establish a mutually acceptable – or at least mutually tolerable – ‘truth’ about what actually transpired during past violence in order to counter any myths or biased memories that may have developed between former antagonists. This is a key step in breaking down the kinds of polarized identifications and beliefs about the past and about the ‘Other’ that might otherwise sustain societal divisions and provide a ready basis for future violence. Finally, the third broad category is ‘distributive learning,’ which involves interventions designed to ameliorate existing structural and material inequalities that may continue to exist between divided groups in post-conflict societies. Distributive learning is tied to the recognition that the social and psychological aspects of social learning must also be matched by concrete changes in the daily lives and lived experiences of former antagonists. 8  These kinds of  interventions might include provisions for reparations or compensation for those who experienced severe disadvantage in the past, or broader recommendations and reforms designed to work towards reducing inequality. Left unaddressed, continued social, economic, or political inequalities in divided societies have been shown to preclude opportunities for meaningful contact and communication, to serve as a source of continued feelings of victimization and injustice, and to prevent against the development of social learning and intergroup reconciliation. To sum, the theoretical framework developed in this study proposes that those transitional justice strategies most successful in promoting intergroup reconciliation and sustainable peace in divided post-conflict societies will be those that actively serve to catalyze instrumental, socioemotional, and distributive processes of social learning through interventions designed to promote the key mechanisms of contact, dialogue, ‘truth,’ ‘justice,’ and the amelioration of material inequalities. Importantly, this model also proposes that these three ‘types’ of social learning processes are deeply interrelated and are mutually dependent upon and mutually constitutive of one another.  Put otherwise, this study hypothesizes that the  interventions designed to advance these three crucial aspects of social learning are the necessary causal processes by which transitional justice is able to contribute positively to reconciliation, and therefore that all three of these different ‘types’ of interventions must ultimately be facilitated concurrently either within or alongside transitional justice strategies to successfully advance processes of intergroup reconciliation in divided societies. 	
    THE STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY While this contribution to theory development remains important, the principal aim of this study is to empirically test the utility of the social learning framework as a theoretical tool capable of shedding new light on the causal linkages between transitional justice and intergroup 9  reconciliation in deeply divided societies. Accordingly, the majority of this study is given over to testing the social learning model through a qualitative assessment of the case studies of Northern Ireland and South Africa, one that combines elements of both within-case and crosscase analysis.13 This particular form of theory-oriented small-n analysis is appropriate to this investigation for a number of reasons.  First, it has been increasingly recognized that  conventional quantitative or statistical methods can prove unwieldy in attempting to trace the complicated causal structures at work in intricate processes such as societal reconciliation where direct claims about correlation are easily confounded by interaction effects and elements of path dependence.14  The study of the relationship between transitional justice and societal  reconciliation is likely to involve both convergent and interacting causal variables that do not exist independently of one another, and it therefore may remain better suited to a more in-depth mode of analysis. Secondly, as there currently exists little agreement as to the actual causal linkages connecting transitional justice to reconciliation, limiting the scope of analysis to a smaller number of cases allows for a more intense and in-depth examination of the causal processes at work and may offer greater opportunity for causal inferences to be drawn.15 As George and Bennett note, the combination of within-case and cross-case analysis allows the researcher both the chance to explore cases in the kind of depth required for modeling and 13  Indeed, there is a growing consensus among comparative scholars that the strongest means available for drawing inferences from a small-n study may lay within a combination of within-case analysis and cross-case comparison. See Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004), 18. More recently, this has been advocated as a particularly useful tool for the empirical study of the societal impact of transitional justice institutions. See David Backer, "Cross-National Comparative Analysis," in Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice: Challenges for Empirical Research, ed. Hugo van der Merwe, Victoria Baxter, and Audrey R. Chapman (Washington: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2009).  14  On this discussion, see George and Bennett, Case Studies and Theory Development; Peter A. Hall, "Systematic Process Analysis: When and How to Use It," European Political Science 7, no. 1 (2008); Paul Pierson, Politics in Time (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004); Charles Ragin, The Comparative Method (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987).  15  For an excellent summary of the various conceptions of the relationship posited to exist between transitional justice and reconciliation and suggestions on appropriate research methodologies to study this link in transitional justice, see Chapman, "Approaches to Studying