To be a world-wide centre of excellence in scholarship on Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction through collaborative, interdisciplinary and international research amongst faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and postdoctoral fellows.
The Centre takes as its fundamental premise that issues of conflict and subjugation are profound. Understanding the transformation of these situations is critical. The Centre seeks to explore aspects of transition relating to development, democracy, the environment, the economy, human rights, politics, peace agreements and justice before, at the time of, and post-transition.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, international attention was increasingly drawn to ethnic conflicts, genocides, and nationalistic claims of self-determination. In the years since, scholars and practitioners alike have begun to grapple with how to deal with the resulting aftermath of the genocides and civil conflicts which took place. Of particular concern in post-conflict, divided societies are the social aspects of rebuilding: the establishment or re-establishment of democratic institutions, the rule of law, civil society, and increased levels of social trust and social cohesion that will allow the residents of those societies to begin to live together again in a transformed society. The complexity surrounding the implementation of programmes and institutions in such societies is of great interest to scholars.
The Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction is interested in precisely these concerns. The Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group at The University of Western Ontario ran from 1999 to 2009, and focused on questions relating to ethnic conflict and nationalism. Moving forward from the strong record of research, technical conferences, and long list of publications spearheaded by the NECRG, the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction is concerned with the intricacies of transitional justice, peacebuilding, democratization, and social transformation. This fits with the challenges established within the growing literature on these subjects, and changing circumstances within the international community, through instruments including the Responsibility to Protect, for example.