The Dialogics of Justice: Assessing Recognition as a Process of Resonance

Project Details


Failed peace missions, sexual abuse, ecocide and colonial violence have reached the Netherlands civil courts. However, there are serious doubts that such procedures provide the recognition and repair that claimants hope for. In both Transitional Justice and Social and Political Theory concern has arisen that these types of recognition procedures may stabilize victim/perpetrator identities and naturalize power hierarchies (affirmative recognition), instead of helping to transform them (transformative recognition). This has led to a call to develop a concept of justice that is more transformative, to which this project responds, by applying Hartmut Rosa’s concept of ‘resonance’ (2016) to Transitional Justice research, arguing that it has the potential to provide new answers for assessing the transformative potential of recognition procedures. Rosa’s concept of ‘resonance’ understands recognition as an encounter in which both sides need to transform, claimants and the institutions they address. This project extends this view by exploring claims not just in their legal dichotomic setting but as dialogue processes between multiple parties on micro, meso and macro level. It aims to reveal – through empirical research – how recognition works as a social, interactive process, hypothesizing that actors other than the state, namely families, communities, and civil society, are crucial to make recognition processes transformative.
Combining (1) historical-anthropological field research and (2) socio-legal analysis will allow concretizing resonance and therewith potential transformation in those multi-layered dialogue processes. A comparative approach, contrasting distinct victim groups within different institutional settings – colonial violence (state), failed peace missions (military), sexual abuse (church), ecocide (multinational) – under one conceptual umbrella, will establish whether there are in addition to specifics also common patterns making a recognition process transformative. Reframing recognition as resonance, that is, as a transformative dialogue, will contribute to a more profound understanding of the crucial role of the social dimension in recognition and repair questions.


Erkenning voor leed wordt meestal juridisch bekeken en dan in termen van individuele financiële compensatie opgelost. Een dergelijke erkenning doet echter weinig recht aan de relationele aspecten van het leed. Dit project onderzoekt erkenningsclaims als een roep om dialoog, en zet daarmee de sociale dimensie van erkenning op de voorgrond.
Effective start/end date1/09/2031/08/25


  • recognition
  • transitional justice
  • reparation
  • dialogue
  • resonance