Elham Kazemi | International Journal of Transitional Justice
In response to criticisms pointed toward the liberal framework of transitional justice (TJ) and its detachment from local communities and norms, there has been a move toward ‘localism’ in the literature and practice of TJ. Recently, a call was made to incorporate Islamic principles and mechanisms into postconflict and post-transition efforts as a measure to increase the local legitimacy and ownership of TJ as well as its acceptance by the local population. Yet, even here, challenges and obstacles remain. Using Tunisia as an illustrative case study, this article argues that local TJ is not immune to power struggles. More specifically, in countries with a legacy of state-sponsored assertive secularism, religion is more likely to play a role as a marker of political and collective identity leading to polarization in the transition process.