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Transitional JusticeNOMOS LI$
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Melissa S. Williams, Rosemary Nagy, and Jon Elster

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794661

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794661.001.0001

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Leviathan as a Theory of Transitional Justice

Leviathan as a Theory of Transitional Justice

(p.180) 7 Leviathan as a Theory of Transitional Justice
Transitional Justice

David Dyzenhaus

NYU Press

This chapter examines Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan as a theory of transitional justice. The book contains both significant instructions about how to achieve civic peace in the face of deep ideological division and an account of how to construct political and legal institutions in order to maintain that peace. The chapter argues that a society in transition is more like the society that was Hobbes' actual audience in Leviathan—a society that has more resources than its bootstraps and in which there is a political entity with a hold, albeit rather tenuous, on power. Thus, transitional justice might not seem strictly speaking to be about a state of nature. Rather, it is about a state somewhere in between a state of nature and civil society.

Keywords:   Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, civic peace, civil society, transitional justice

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