This presentation focuses on one chapter of the recently published edited book Resistance and Transitional Justice (2017, Routledge). This chapter analyses the discursive strategies of resistance of actors in Côte d’Ivoire and the Ivorian diaspora who self-identify as resistors against the state-sanctioned transitional justice process. It discusses to what extent these voices of resistance represent a search for a ‘just justice’. Semi-structured interviews with politicians, civil society representatives, diaspora activists, staff of international organisations and the local population highlight the ways in which the current transitional justice process is a focal point for continued contestations over the country’s complex history of socio-political crises related to citizenship, autochthony and economic collapse, as well as the meaning of justice today. The discursive strategies of resistance by those who self-identify as resisting the transitional justice process link together the unjust oppressor of an illegitimate President supported by the former colonial power of France with the just cause of defending Ivoirian sovereignty and democracy. The analysis concludes that these discursive strategies suggest alternative policies and in fact echo many of the criticisms made by more ‘moderate’ voices, but raises questions about the ability of researchers to maintain a moral and legal position on past violence when working on and with those who resist transitional justice.
Dr. Briony Jones is an Assistant Professor at the Politics and International Studies department of the University of Warwick and an Associate Researcher of Swisspeace/University of Basel and the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. Her research takes place at the intersection between International Development, Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding. In particular, her work focuses on reconciliation, citizenship, political agency, the politics of intervention in societies undergoing a political transition and facing a past of massive human rights violations. She also has a strong research interest in the politics of knowledge production on and in such contexts. Her current research project is investigating the politics of knowledge production in transitional justice processes in Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique and South Sudan.