This book makes an original and readable contribution to defining the nature of justice in the aftermath of a repressive regime. While considering transitional justice as conventionally defined, this work explores broader conceptions of justice and is distinct in approaching the subject through a discussion of the lives and works of six writers: Victor Serge in Stalinist Russia, Albert Camus in Vichy France, Jorge Semprun in Spain under Franco, Ngugi wa Thiong'o in colonial and post-colonial Kenya, Ariel Dorfman in Chile under Pinochet, and Nadine Gordimer in apartheid South Africa. Each lived under a brutal regime, was prepared to take substantial risks in order to contribute to its overthrow, and survived a transition to a new regime. Each thought deeply about the evolving situation with viewpoints derived from a combination of lived experience and intellectual and artistic creation. Each illuminated key questions with reference to a particular country, while developing wider insights.Newman demonstrates that their writings provide a valuable addition to academic analysis and external policy advice that too often fails to take sufficient account of reflective understanding, social and cultural context and the specificity of each situation. He also highlights the evolving and multi-dimensional nature of justice and injustice in political transitions.
Michael Newman is Emeritus Professor of Politics at London Metropolitan University and now teaches at New York University in London. His previous books include Humanitarian Intervention: Confronting the Contradictions (Hurst 2009), Socialism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2005), Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left (Merlin Press, 2002), and Democracy, Sovereignty and the European Union (Hurst, 1996).