Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed ( from Interpeace)

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Reconciliation is a deeply complex process, which has gained increasing prominence on the agenda of post-violence peacebuilding. Yet reconciliation remains a contested and highly context-specific notion. In fact, there is considerable debate among scholars, experts and practitioners on the concept and practice of reconciliation, and how to best assess the achievements or limitations of reconciliation processes, especially in contexts where there are risks of re-emerging or transformed patterns and typologies of violence. Consequently, evidence is often lacking or disputed about interventions that are ‘successful’ in fostering reconciliation from the perspective of the people experiencing these processes.

Together with the Kofi Annan Foundation and with support of the Government of Finland and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, we have developed a report entitled – Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed, addressing the design and implementation of reconciliation processes, based on studies in Guatemala, Northern Ireland, DRC and South Africa. Our report argues that reconciliation requires a tailor-made approach and lasting attention from all segments of society: if we invest a fragment of what is spent in war on reconciliation, lasting peace might well be enjoyed by many more citizens around the world.


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