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Justice during Armed Conflict: A New Dataset on Government and Rebel Strategies


Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


While armed conflict is ultimately about violent interaction between combatant groups, a variety of policies are pursued in conjunction with violence that contribute to the course of conflict and its outcomes. One underdeveloped area of research is the use of judicial and quasi-judicial processes during armed conflict. These processes, including trials, truth commissions, reparations, amnesties, purges, or exiles, are directly related to the actions and abuses of the conflict itself—a phenomenon we refer to as during-conflict justice (DCJ). To enable researchers to answer questions about when and why governments and rebels resort to these strategies, and to what effect, we created a global, cross-national dataset which includes 2,205 justice processes implemented during 204 internal armed conflicts between 1946 and 2011. Using these data, this article investigates the conditions under which governments and rebels employ DCJ as well as the potential effects of DCJ usage on conflict dynamics and outcomes.