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Databases of Transitional Justice Mechanisms and Contexts: Comparing Research Purposes and Design

Mallinder, Louise and O'Rourke, Catherine (2016) Databases of Transitional Justice Mechanisms and Contexts: Comparing Research Purposes and Design. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 10 . [Journal article]

[img] Text - Accepted Version

DOI: 10.1093/ijtj/ijw012


Over the past decade, scholars researching the causes, forms and impacts of transitional justice mechanisms have increasingly turned to cross-national databases to document cases, facilitate comparisons and develop causal analyses. Such research has been heralded as having the potential to address significant knowledge gaps in the field. However, to date, database research has produced patchy and contradictory findings. To interrogate why these differences have arisen, this article draws on a new database relating to key elements of research design in 20 databases of transitional justice mechanisms or transitional contexts. The systematic comparative analysis of these databases finds that they are constructed for a range of distinct purposes, which in turn shape different approaches to research design and lead to divergent findings. The article argues that greater reflection on the diverse purposes of databases can help scholars appreciate how different forms of databases can be used in an incremental and complementary manner to build knowledge that is persuasive for scholars and practitioners.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:databases, research design, conceptualization, inference, impact assessment
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Transitional Justice Institute
ID Code:35223
Deposited By: Professor Louise Mallinder
Deposited On:02 Aug 2016 08:36
Last Modified:10 Aug 2018 22:23

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