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Commissioning truth: an exploration and assessment of an alternative approach to the production of truth in the aftermath of violence


Commissioning truth: an exploration and assessment of an alternative approach to the production of truth in the aftermath of violence

Peralta, Laly Catalina (2017) Commissioning truth: an exploration and assessment of an alternative approach to the production of truth in the aftermath of violence. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Perallta_PhD_F2018.pdf - Accepted Version


The first chapter of this thesis presents a review of the literature on the meaning of truth in the aftermath of violence. There, I argue that, historically, scholars have tried to justify the quest for truth in such circumstances (1) by reference to the benefits it brings, which is a type of instrumental justification; and (2) for its own sake, a type of intrinsic justification. Following my description and analysis of these two ideal typical accounts, I present my own alternative approach to truth in the aftermath of violence, which is a middle point between the two ideal types. This alternative approach provides a synthesis between knowing facts and telling testimonies; showing how the instrumental and intrinsic justifications of truth are actually closer than they appeared to be at first glance. The second chapter explores how this alternative approach could be materialized through a particular truth seeking mechanism such as a truth commission. The third chapter presents a methodological matrix, which systematizes my own vision of a bona fide truth commission. The matrix is made up of a series of consideratoions that are illustrated by analyzing two international experiences: the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs) of South Africa and Sierra Leone. The fourth and last chapter seeks to demonstrate the utility of the proposed matrix by applying it to a particular case: the nascent truth commission of Colombia.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Peralta, Laly Catalina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:November 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Howes, David and Reiter, Eric and Barker, Matt
Keywords:Truth Commissions, Victims, Colombia, Right to truth
ID Code:984492
Deposited On:31 Oct 2018 17:20
Last Modified:31 Oct 2018 17:20


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