Reconciliation after Violent Conflict
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Editors: David Bloomfield, Teresa Barnes and Luc Huyse
Contributors: David Bloomfield, Noreen Callaghan, Vanath Chea, Mark Freeman, Brandon Hamber, Priscilla B. Hayner, Luc Huyse, Peter Uvin, Stef Vandeginste and Ian White.
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How does a newly democratized nation constructively address the past to move from a divided history to a shared future? How do people rebuild coexistence after violence? The International IDEA Handbook on Reconciliation after Violent Conflict presents a range of tools that can be, and have been, employed in the design and implementation of reconciliation processes. Most of them draw on the experience of people grappling with the problems of past violence and injustice. There is no ‘right answer’ to the challenge of reconciliation, and so the Handbook prescribes no single approach. Instead, it presents the options and methods, with their strengths and weaknesses evaluated, so that practitioners and policy-makers can adopt or adapt them, as best suits each specific context.
Creating trust and understanding between former enemies is a supremely difficult challenge. It is, however, an essential one to address in the process of building a lasting peace. Examining the painful past, acknowledging it and understanding it, and above all transcending it together, is the best way to guarantee that it does not – and cannot – happen again. As we continue our own journey towards peace in South Africa, I commend this handbook to those who struggle for reconciliation in other contexts around the world. I hope that the practical tools and lessons from experience presented here will inspire, assist, and support them in their supremely important task.
(From the Handbook Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
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