Theories of Social Change and their Contribution to the Practice of Conflict Transformation: Developing the State of the Art in Conflict Transformation Theory and Practice

This report reflects on this productive tension between the analysis and practice strands of conflict transformation, first concentrating on themes around the theories of conflict formation and the values that guide the field (Section 2), then exploring the dilemmas of intervention faced by conflict resolution practitioners (Section 3). Section 4 summarises the discussion that followed the presentation by Berghof of the systemic approach to conflict transformation – a potential tool for linking the stages of analysis and intervention in a more dynamic way and for devising strategic priorities for both research and practice. Finally, Section 5 outlines the vision for future research at Berghof, as inspired, endorsed, and enhanced by the Seminar.

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).