Fluid Narrative, Contested Memory - Remembering Conflict and Re-Membering Societies in Post-Conflict Situations (The Case of Kenya, Constitutions, Land Reform and Electoral Violence)

Posted: 22 Mar 2013

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The narratives that invigorate post-conflict societies affect prospects for effective peace-building and democratic growth. How members of a society remember their personal and shared experiences in conflict shape how post-conflict efforts at reconciliation unfold. How victims and perpetrators of violence tell the narratives of the conflict episodes influences the contour of societal re-membering or rebuilding efforts. How experiences are remembered, memorialized, portrayed lays the foundation for how societies will overcome, transform or repeat violence and instability overtime. Drawing from theoretical literature and specific data on episodes of violence surrounding elections in Kenya – from 1992 through 2013 – this paper explores how the contested and changing memories of and narratives about violence have formed the contours of and prospects for long-term reconciliation in post-conflict societies. How do contested memories and related fluid narratives shape possibilities for reconciliation, enduring peace and justice in post-conflict settings? Data on Kenya serves as a case study to inform dialogue and research on more general understandings of prospects for peace in post-conflict societies based on the presence of varied memories and fluid narratives about situations of conflict.

Suggested Citation

Beard, Virginia, Fluid Narrative, Contested Memory - Remembering Conflict and Re-Membering Societies in Post-Conflict Situations (The Case of Kenya, Constitutions, Land Reform and Electoral Violence) (2013). ASA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2237066

Virginia Beard (Contact Author)

Hope College ( email )

United States
6163957545 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hope.edu

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