This article critically examines the issue of collusion as part of truth recovery and post-conflict transition in Northern Ireland. As state crime, collusion involves state agents (military, intelligence, police) engaging with non-state agents in wrongful acts often of (or linked to) non-state political violence. A key element of the conflict in the North, and a contentious dimension of post-conflict transitional justice, collusion is also understood as exemplifying the “state of exception” (Agamben 2005) and state practices of denial (Cohen 2001). After characterizing the nature and role of collusion, the article critically analyses the record of various official truth recovery mechanisms established since 1998, in re-investigating cases of alleged collusion by focussing on particular cases (most involving allegation of collusion with loyalists). Ultimately, it is argued, though important information about collusion has been revealed, current processes constitute the state management of truth recovery and illuminate the limits and nature of state practice in dealing with state violence and state crime.
|Published - Apr 2013