Conditional justice : determining implementation and effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Research on transitional justice (TJ) has debated the usefulness of these structures for democratization, promotion of human rights, and the prevention of future conflict. Some scholars argue transitional justice threatens old elites to the point of resistance, further destabilizing the democratization process and risking a reversion to autocracy. Others contest TJ cultivates a foundation for reconciliation and accountability necessary for lasting peace. The states that engage in transitional justice, however, are fundamentally different from those that do not, and these differences must be accounted for in order to ascertain the 'true' effect of transitional justice. In this dissertation, I use treatment effects models to better isolate the impact of TJ while controlling for the factors leading to implementation of these mechanisms. I find states engaging in TJ have stronger democratic institutions and independent judiciaries than if they did not implement TJ, but these same states also face higher human rights violations following TJ. This indicates transitioning states have leaders with their own incentives to use the coercive power of the state to consolidate their own hold on power.