Parallel Session 15 | Reflect | 14 June 2018, 10.45h - 12.15h | Room 6.09

Wounded Leadership – the cost of marginalizing trauma in transitional justice


The session will highlight how trauma has been overlooked in the design and implementation of transitional justice processes and what the cost of this has been to durable peace. It will do this by focusing on the concept of wounded leadership. It will indicate how even the best designed transitional justice processes are likely to cause more harm if they are in the hands of wounded leaders. The session will further explore how this concept can be developed as a theoretical construct within transitional justice. Case examples from South Africa and other parts of the world will be highlighted and participants will be requested to site their own country-specific cases.


Fishbowl format: After a short introduction into the topic, the dialogue will be facilitated among participants on whether they think that wounded leadership is a construct that can be useful within transitional justice. Inputs on how this construct can be strengthened will be sourced. Participant will be asked to draw examples from their own countries.



  • Sylvia Servaes, Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt)/ MISEREOR, Germany


  • Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)