Navigating colonial debris: structural challenges for Colombia’s peace accord

Claire Wright, Bill Rolston, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In recent years, interest has grown in how Transitional Justice (TJ) can approach colonial harms and their long-lasting effects, because of a lacuna in both TJ practice and academic research. Scant attention has been paid, particularly, to how peace processes themselves can be undermined by ongoing colonial legacies. In this article, we offer an in-depth case study on Colombia, particularly the Havana Peace Accord of 2016, and discuss how the debris–to use Stoler’s term–of Spanish colonialism relating to land, ethnicity and gender have become evident throughout the process: during the negotiations, in the campaigns prior to the referendum, and while undertaking its implementation. We argue that peace processes must account for ongoing harms rooted in colonial projects; in the first instance, to provide structural justice for those who suffer these harms in a broader sense and, also, to protect the specific aims of the peace process in question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-77
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This publication is based on activities and research supported by the GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub. We are grateful to Kimberly Theidon and Pascha Bueno-Hansen for their very insightful comments on a previous version of this article, and for the support of our colleagues at Universidad de los Andes.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Colombia
  • Colonialism
  • Havana peace accord
  • peace process


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