What motivates a new regime to pursue justice measures against previous human rights abusers, from condemnations to criminal prosecutions? What deters them? In his new book, “The Costs of Justice,” UMBC assistant professor of political science Brian Grodsky argues that transitional justice is a function of the new leadership’s capacity to provide goods and services expected by constituents.
As he explains in his new Talking Heads video, “New leaders who come to power have to balance the desire for justice that they may have with the public’s perceptions of [their] efficacy.” In other words, politicians responsible for making sure electricity stays on, schools remain open, and the employment rate is stable “pursue justice to the degree to which they think they can get away with pursuing justice.”
This book speaks to students, scholars, human rights practitioners, activists and policymakers, helping them to understand, from a domestic perspective, how political leaders make important decisions impacting the international community.