Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Stephanie Golob

Subject Categories

Comparative Politics | International Relations


transitional justice, human rights, local justice


As the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos sits across the negotiating table from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), justice as a conduit for peace has dominated discourse on remediating the legacy of more than 50 years of internal conflict. Justice, however, like the conflict itself, is contested in both meaning and substance. This thesis will approach the topic of justice from both a human rights and transitional justice perspective, arguing the need for systematically disentangling the concept in its international, domestic, and grassroots iterations. It will contend that transitional justice policy will more effectively be designed if its claims of causality are subject to continued and rigorous empirical testing. Approaching the development of transitional justice in Colombia from an historical perspective, this thesis will focus on three cycles of government intervention to end the conflict. This will highlight the limits of related policy to date and suggest its re-orienting towards local realities, both experiential and structural, as a promising and necessary move to achieving peace in the communities that will determine its ultimate success.