Justice as Development in the Global South

Development in Transition: The Ecuadorian Case (Carla Cueva Cisternas)

During the Cold War period, numerous authoritarian governments gained power in Latin American countries. These regimes became known for violating the rights of their citizens, mainly of those that disagreed with their political ideology. As these governments stepped down from power, countries began developing transitional justice policies to deal with the past human rights abuses. In this context, my presentation aims to contribute with an explanation of the Ecuadorian transitional justice process, by analyzing the impact that the Ecuadorian Truth Commission has had in the country’s development- mainly through public policy advances in human rights practices and democratization. Focus will be placed on two recommendations that the Truth Commission made to the government: the judicialization of human rights cases, and the creation of a Victims Reparation Program.

This presentation is based on field research undertaken for my master’s dissertation, which was achieved through qualitative methodology, mainly based on elite interviews with Ecuadorian government officials, human right activists, and victims, and analyzed through thematic analysis and process tracing. The results of my investigation demonstrated that in the past five years since the publication of the Ecuadorian Truth Commission’s Final Report, the government has successfully taken a few human rights cases to court and has recently created a Victims Reparation Program, both policies developed through the political will of the governmental officials involved. However, these policies have been implemented with some criticism, mainly due to the frustration of victims discouraged by the slow process.

About Carla

Carla holds a BA in International Relations from Webster University Vienna and a MA in Human Rights from University College London. Through her studies she has specialized in Latin American Transitional Justice and Indigenous Populations. She is a dual citizen of Chile and Ecuador, and has lived in six different countries. Currently, she is an intern at the United Nations in Vienna.


Ubuntu for a new era South Africa – An outlined policy implementation

Since the overcoming of structural racism and repression which was embodied in the system of apartheid in South Africa until the year 1994 there have been varied and concerted efforts at reviving the notion of Ubuntu. While Ubuntu has many meanings, the basic concept rests upon the understanding of a human being as a relational being. As an antithesis of the colonial dehumanization, Ubuntu can be conceived as the post-colonial quest for a rebirth of African identity emphasizing social relationships and patterns in pre-colonial societies. In addition, the underlying idea that an individual is morally accountable to others, questions the logic of liberal capitalism with its goal of endless accumulation. Contextualizing Ubuntu into the broader frame of African Socialism, my aim is to show how Ubuntu can be part of an emancipatory project in a new era South Africa. The ethics of Ubuntu should be widely implemented in the political agendas of the state and civil society, while at the same time preventing Ubuntu from becoming an elitist project that is utilized to appease the population without aiming at fundamental socio-economic change in society.

About Immanuel

Immanuel received his bachelor’s degrees in African and Development Studies from the University of Vienna, where he is currently enrolled in the consecutive master programs. Team member of the student council at the Institute of African Studies. Research Interests: Panafricanism, African Socialism and anti-colonial resistance in East Africa.