The TJDI project, starting in January 2013 and ending in December 2015, focuses on countries facing a myriad of challenges following their emergence from authoritarian rule and/or violent conflict. Chief among these problems is the demand for accountability for past abuses, and the need to build a new, stable democratic state. Scholars and practitioners continue to debate which of these take priority, or whether in fact one is a necessary precondition for the other. While some recent scholarship suggests that certain transitional justice measures are positively correlated with an improvement in the state of democracy and human rights in transitional states, other scholarship suggests that some transitional justice measures are not linked to improved records of democracy and human rights.

This three-year, inter-disciplinary research project will be conducted by researchers at the University of East London, UK, and at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (SIM) at Utrecht University, and will examine the experiences of eight countries: South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Hungary, and East Germany, in four regions. All of these countries have experienced different types of violence and repression and undergone different types of transition, in different regional and international geopolitical circumstances. Using qualitative methods including field research, secondary research, and incorporating insights from quantitative research, this comparative project will develop new insights regarding the impact of transitional justice measures specifically on democratic institution-building. The researchers aim at contributing to the wide scholarship on the effects of transitional justice and providing insights to practitioners regarding the role of various transitional justice measures.