The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC): Human Rights and State Transitions – The South Africa Model

by Patricia J. Campbell


Post-authoritarian regimes have struggled with the most appropriate way to deal with the former regimes’ human rights abuses.Several schools of though have emerged as to how this should be accomplished.Into this framework the South Africa model, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), is discussed.The TRC has completed its charge and the results vary according to one’s perception of that charge.An assessment of South Africa’s attempt at truth and reconciliation and the TRC’s viability as a model for other transitioning societies are discussed.

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Patricia J. Campbell is currently an Associate Professor of Comparative and African Politics at the State University of West Georgia and Coordinator of the Global Studies Program. She has written several articles on human rights, refugee issues and gender, appearing in journals such as Third World Quarterly, Africa Today, and has several chapters in various books. She is co-editor ofDemocratization and the Protection of Human Rights: Challenges and Contradictions, Greenwood Publishers, 1998.