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Beyond Transitional Justice: on Pluralist Co-Existence ‘After’ Conflict; Lessons from The South

Researcher name: Tshepo Madlingozi

Since the late 1980s the Global North has imposed certain notions of modernity, legal system and nation building through the ‘Transitional Justice project’ (TJP). Instead of experiencing independence – politically, culturally and epistemologically – “post-conflict” countries are re-colonised through this project. Focusing on local initiatives of social re-harmonization in Ahmedabad, India and East Rand, South Africa this study demonstrates that alternatives exist that not only contest sterile notions of reconciliation, they also constitute subtle forms of high-intensity democracy, nation-building, and in their alternative temporalities they introduce counter-hegemonic ways of seeing the world that pose a challenge to metonymic reasoning – the very heart of Western rationality (Santos, 2004). The main aim been to expand on the ecology of temporalities, this study demonstrates that re-harmonization experiments in the East Rand and Ahmedabad hold valuable lessons in emancipatory multicultural citizenship, legal pluralism, and harmonization. These alternative models could find application in communal harmony endeavors in places in the Global North besieged by the rising tide of xenophobia and ethnonationalism.

Keywords: Non-Western Temporalities and Chronosophies, Liminality, Nation Building, Democracy, Collective Memory, Re-Harmonization
Countries of reference: South Africa, India