Political philosophers have amassed a large body of work on justice and fairness from a theoretical perspective, but there is comparatively little empirical work on the subject. The work that does exist concentrates on the beliefs of the public. We know very little concerning the beliefs about justice held by political elites. This work offers a window into the beliefs of legislators, a group for which such an inquiry is rarely undertaken.
The book is based on a set of extended, in-depth interviews with the members of the Connecticut State Senate as well as a year of close observation of the Senate in action. The interviews averaged four hours in length and covered a variety of topics related to fairness. Through this material, Reeher employs a narrative-based framework to understand the patterns in the senators' interview responses, and develops a typology of the senator's narratives. These narratives vary in both content and form, and as a whole present a surprising range of views.
Narratives of Justice will be of interest to those concerned with justice, political ideologies, and political beliefs, as well as state and local politics and, more generally, American politics. Its wide research and thorough documentation make it a useful guide to the literature within and beyond political science concerning beliefs, ideologies, legislative behavior, and qualitative research methods.
Grant Reeher is associate professor of political science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is the co-author of "Click on Democracy: The Internet's Power to Change Political Apathy into Civic Action.
Moreover, the volume situates narratives of transitional justice in former Yugoslavia both within specific national spaces - such as Serbia, and Bosnia - and beyond the Yugoslav. In this way it also considers experiences from other countries and other times (post-World War II) to offer a sounding board for re-thinking the meanings of transitional justice and institutions within former Yugoslavia. Included in the volume's coverage is a look at the Rwandan tribunals, the trials of Charles Taylor, Radovan Karadzic, the Srebrenica genocide, and other war crimes and criminals in the Yugoslav. Finally, it frames all of those narratives and experiences within the global dynamics of legal, social and geo-political transformations, making it an excellent resource for social science researchers, human rights activists, those interested in the former Yugoslavia and international relations, and legal scholars.