Abstract

In human rights discourse, victims and perpetrators are usually referred to as two completely separate and homogenous sets of people. This article challenges this discrete and binary approach to these concepts. Through an analysis of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, especially its final report, the article demonstrates that the reality of many post-conflict situations is more complex. More often than not, within the group of victims, not all victims are the same. Similarly, within the group of perpetrators, not all perpetrators are the same; and the two groups are rarely separate and distinct: some individuals are both victims and perpetrators. The article concludes with some thoughts on the implications of this research for understanding the challenges of reconciliation in South Africa.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-794X
Print ISSN
0275-0392
Pages
pp. 1088-1116
Launched on MUSE
2003-11-03
Open Access
No
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