Leadership Education within Transitional Justice Instruments

Leadership Education within Transitional Justice Instruments

Andrew H. Campbell (Indiana Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3153-1.ch038


Transitional justice is an evolving field of study and is still in its infancy stage of theoretical development (Bell, 2009; Skarr & Wiebelhaus-Brahm, 2013). This chapter introduces leadership not only as a critical and overlooked dimension of executing transitional justice instruments but also as a strategic enabler within the transitional justice and peacebuilding discipline. In fact, literature analysis noted there lacks a theoretical understanding and application of leadership concepts, principles, and studies within the transitional justice formula (Teital, 2008). Ferch (2012) and Tutu (2000) suggest political leaders influence the rise of conflict and maintenance of peace between nations and sub-groups. The discussion addresses the theoretical leadership constructs and conceptual relationships that impact organizational leaders executing transitional justice formulas and peacebuilding activities. Furthermore, presenting a leadership framework that identifies individual and organizational competencies as well as an educational framework provides a baseline for organizational development as agencies seek to improve delivery of services in civic engagement and peacebuilding activities.
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In the 21st century, scholars claim that the global environment is characterized by the complexity of regional instability, failed states, state corruption, irregular conflict, and global terrorism that requires greater leadership to mitigate and resolve interstate or intrastate conflict (Baylis, Smith, & Owens, 2008; Crocker, Hampson, & Aall, 2007; Kramer, 2011). Administrators of transitional justice instruments must be able to conduct operations in a complex environment that includes a mixture of military, cultural, ideological, economic, and governance dynamics. For example, Lenzen (2009) argues that national reconciliation and confidence building measures are developed in partnership with local leaders, civil society organizations, and other developmental actors as transitional government leaders move to transform a society toward sustainable peace. Transitional justice instruments are executed by nonprofit organizations, nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations each entity requires organizational leaders with specific competences and skills set. That said, Ferch (2012) and Tutu (2000) suggest that political leaders are the principals who influence the rise of conflict as well as maintain peace between nations and sub-groups. The challenge is the lack of an understanding and developmental application of leadership concepts, principles, and studies within the transitional justice formula (Teital, 2008).

With an increase in lethality of transnational conflict among state and non-state actors, leaders within the international community have struggled in responding to the resulting rise of human rights violations (Bensouda, 2013; Fukuyama, 2004). To illustrate, Amnesty International Report 2013, The State of the World’s Human Rights notes that international conflict increased from 13% in 2012 to 31% in 2013, resulting in an estimated rise of 15 million refugees by the end of 2013. As a result, international political pressure within powerful states and from regional players demanded response to reported atrocities, gross human rights, and crimes of humanity from intrastate conflict (Brinkerhoff, 2011; Duthie, 2009).

Scholars note that the political pressure for accountability and accurate narratives of committed mass atrocities are shaped by leaders executing transitional justice instruments (Buckley-Zistel, Beck, Braun, & Meith, 2014; Cashman, 2014). In fact, in his article “After the Fall: Leaders, Leadership and Challenges of Peacebuilding”Doss (2011) states that “post conflict peacebuilding does require individual leaders able to inspire trust and hope, capable of both adapting and changing their countries post conflict prospects” (para. 2). For that reason, scholars suggest that in a post conflict environment, leaders are the key drivers executing transitional justice instruments as a means to hold perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations accountable (Clark, 2005; Welch & Watkins, 2011). That said, exercising transitional justice instruments involves organizational leaders with the mindset to lead in a global environment characterized by weak socio-political institutions, underdeveloped legal systems, and corrupt governments.

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