The several cases under study all take as a starting point (ongoing) civil court cases that are instigated against a broad range of institutions. In other words, in all cases people have walked the ‘legal path’ to find recognition for (past) injustices. Contrasting different institutional settings – colonial violence (state), failed military missions (military), sexual abuse (church), ecocide (multinational) – allows us to explore whether there are common patterns making a recognition process transformative.


This project sees recognition procedures as relational: a dialogical process in which relationships are established rather than closed or resolved. Recognition claims are hence studied not just in their legal dichotomic setting (victim/perpetrator), but as dialogue processes between multiple parties on micro, meso and macro level. Taking a relational approach will contribute to a more profound understanding of the crucial role of the social dimension in recognition and repair questions.


Dialogics of Justice combines historical-anthropological field research and social-legal analysis. This will allow for the study of legal practices, while centring human experiences and meaning-making processes. The researchers within Dialogics of Justice come from a variety of backgrounds, allowing this type of interdisciplinary research. Field research will be conducted in the Netherlands, Nigeria, Bosnia, Iraq, Indonesia and the Carribean.