"As nations struggling to heal wounds of civil war and atrocity
turn toward the model of reconciliation, Reconciliation in
Divided Societies takes a systematic look at the political
dimensions of this international phenomenon. . . . The book shows
us how this transformation happens so that we can all gain a better
understanding of how, and why, reconciliation really works. It is
an almost indispensable tool for those who want to engage in
reconciliation"-from the foreword by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond
As societies emerge from oppression, war, or genocide, their most
important task is to create a civil society strong and stable
enough to support democratic governance. More and more
conflict-torn countries throughout the world are promoting
reconciliation as central to their new social order as they move
toward peace and stability.
Scores of truth and reconciliation commissions are helping bring
people together and heal the wounds of deeply divided societies.
Since the South African transition, countries as diverse as Timor
Leste, Sierra Leone, Fiji, Morocco, and Peru have placed
reconciliation at the center of their reconstruction and
development programs. Other efforts to promote
reconciliation-including trials and governmental programs-are also
becoming more prominent in transitional times. But until now there
has been no real effort to understand exactly what reconciliation
could mean in these different situations. What does true
reconciliation entail? How can it be achieved? How can its
achievement be assessed? This book digs beneath the surface to
answer these questions and explain what the concepts of truth,
justice, forgiveness, and reconciliation really involve in
societies that are recovering from internecine strife.
Looking to the future as much as to the past, Erin Daly and Jeremy
Sarkin maintain that reconciliation requires fundamental political
and economic reform along with personal healing if it is to be
effective in establishing lasting peace and stability.
Reconciliation, they argue, is best thought of as a means for
transformation. It is the engine that enables victims to become
survivors and divided societies to transform themselves into
communities where people work together to raise children and live
productive, hopeful lives. Reconciliation in Divided
Societies shows us how this transformation happens so that we
can all gain a better understanding of how and why reconciliation
is actually accomplished.
Subjects: Political Science
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