On Good Terms: Clarifying Reconciliation

This report addresses some of the deep confusion that still surrounds the term reconciliation, and its practice in post-violence peacebuilding. Despite its generally acknowledged importance, there remains great disagreement over what reconciliation actually means and, in particular, how it relates to other concepts and processes, such as justice, peacebuilding, democratisation and political development. It reviews some of the ongoing debates, from scholarship as well as policy and practice, which highlight the disputed nature of the term, and offer a modest framework for reducing the confusion to more manageable levels. The report also examines its complex relationship to two key concepts: justice, and forgiveness. The paper builds on, and pushes further, some of the thoughts first presented in an earlier work, Reconciliation After Violent Conflict: A Handbook, produced for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), (Bloomfield et al. 2003).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.