Moving Forward After Conflicts: Conceptualizing Reconciliation in Transitional Processes
Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, Vol. 30, No. 2, Forthcoming
Posted: 23 Feb 2018 Last revised: 24 Feb 2018
Date Written: 2018
In this research essay, I will discuss the concept of reconciliation and situate my analysis within the body of literature in transitional justice. According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, transitional justice is “set of judicial and non-judicial measures that have been implemented by different countries in order to redress the legacies of massive human rights abuses.” The four core pillars of the field include, criminal prosecutions, reparations, institutional reform, and truth commissions. The paper is organised around three key questions in the subject of reconciliation and its conceptualisation. How is reconciliation conceptualised in academic literature? In the immediate aftermath of conflict, reconciliation is evoked as a mechanism and process of dealing with the past. What are the key components of reconciliation identified in scholarship? Finally, what are the challenges associated with conceptualising and implementing reconciliation in post-conflict contexts? I will make the case for a nuanced understanding and approaches to reconciliation that takes into account the history, context, cultures, and politics by sequencing various contradictory components of reconciliation leading to an imperfect peace. I will therefore argue for sequential approaches to reconciliation within a transitional process.
Keywords: Deep-Seated Conflicts, Conflicts Resolution: Transitional Societies, Truth and Reconciliation, Ubuntu, Africa, Sub-Saharan, Civil War, Violence, Democratization, Statebuilding, Nation-Building
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