Dr Caitlin Mollica (University of Newcastle) will be sharing her recently-released book, Agency and Ownership in Reconciliation: Youth and the Practice of Transitional Justice (SUNY Press).

Please note that this is an in-person event.

The importance of youth's substantive participation for the realisation of inclusive reconciliation practices has rarely been acknowledged. Her book provides a comprehensive, nuanced, and empirical account of the contribution of young people's voices to the success of transitional justice and peacebuilding practices. She illustrates the role of political will and agency in the development of transitional justice mechanisms that are substantively inclusive of those traditionally marginalised by post-conflict institutions, most notably youth. In doing so, she highlights the importance of youth to lasting peace and meaningful justice. She does so by looking specifically at how truth and reconciliation commissions from South Africa to the Solomon Islands engage with the voices of youth and the meanings youth self-ascribe to their experiences during truth and reconciliation commission processes. In a field which traditionally prioritises stories about youth, Caitlin centres stories by youth.


Caitlin's background includes a PhD in Political Science from Griffith University and an MA in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University. She’s also worked in the public service and the NGO community. Her engagement with the youth, peace and security agenda and transitional justice practices has led to her becoming an emerging expert in peace and conflict. She’s established an international reputation for work that has a direct policy impact, including its use in training peacebuilders and supporting youth peacebuilders in demonstrating the impact of their work. This has been achieved through the publication of public-facing policy reports that empirically demonstrate the work being conducted by youth peacebuilders. To amplify youth knowledge and expertise, her work prioritises inclusive research approaches, which centre youth stories and empower youth to lead in the research process through peer-to-peer dialogue. Thanks to her research, Caitlin has advanced contemporary debates regarding the importance of transforming political and justice institutions to enable more responsive access for traditionally marginalised groups. Both conceptually and methodologically, her research provides insights to improve the interaction of youth and women within local communities and with policymakers.



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