Intervention Journal

Introduction

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Authors:
van der Veer, Guus

ARTICLES

Reconciliation - The Wrong Track to Peace?

The article discusses the shortcomings of the current theory and practice of reconciliation and explores the possibilities of addressing the complex social and psychological processes involved in dealing with the past.

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Authors:
Becker, D.

Empirical Criteria for Reconciliation in Practice

This article illustrates the opinion that a bottom-up reconciliation requires, in addition to a top-down legal and political agreement between the parties, a complementary educational and social-psychological process. After an intractable conflict such a process
will help the people involved to work through and let go of hatred, the desire for revenge, the mistrust, and the pain that were imprinted as a result of the conflict. A successful synchronisation of these two processes could diminish the danger of a renewed
outburst of violence. The article discusses experience with the TRT (To Reflect and Trust) group, which has brought together Jewish descendants of Holocaust survivors and German descendants of Nazi perpetrators over the past thirteen years. Lessons learned from these experiences are applied to the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the course of this discussion, the concept of reconciliation is critically examined. Several empirical criteria are suggested to study reconciliation in practice.

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Authors:
Bar-On, D.

Can There Be Healing Without Justice? Lessons from the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor

Truth and reconciliation processes initiated in post-conflict countries have several interrelated objectives with the two key aims being to confront past injustices and to heal the suffering caused by such abuses. Structural constraints, however, often limit the extent to which justice can be achieved for all victims and their families. The present report is based on a review of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (known by its Portuguese acronym CAVR), a national initiative that was concluded in 2005. The review was based on interviews with key staff associated with the Commission. Although the key CAVR personnel and support agencies interviewed believed that the process was beneficial, they also noted that a minority of participants
continued to suffer from a range of traumatic mental health problems that required special psychological attention. Pervasive anger was evident amongst survivors, particularly in response to the impunity enjoyed by the leading perpetrators of past atrocities,  lost of whom had sought refuge in Indonesia. Lessons from East Timor and elsewhere suggest the importance of anticipating the inevitable feelings of anger and frustration arising from the limitations of TRC processes in achieving justice for all victims.

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Authors:
Le Touze, D., Silove, D. and Zwi,A.

Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Violent Conflict in Rwanda

Reconciliation in the aftermath of the history of violent conflict in Rwanda is approached as part of a set of deeply interrelated issues, such as individual and social suffering, justice, remembering and forgetting, truth-telling, accountability, forgiveness,
trauma therapy, socio-therapy, human rights, and development. The article is based on literature study, conversations with people of all walks of life in Rwanda, and six years of research experience in this country of one of the authors. A major challenge
addressed is if, and to what extent, internationally oriented concepts and programs and cultural specific approaches in the field of reconciliation are in conflict with each other or whether they have the potential to reinforce each other.

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Authors:
Richters, A., Dekker, C. and de Jonge, K.

Twelve Creative Ways to Foster Reconciliation

Based on his experience as a mediator in many conflict areas, the author discusses twelve approaches to rconciliation. He concludes that no single approach is capable of handling the complexity of the situation after violent events, thus combining approaches makes more sense. The parties involved in the conflict should be invited to discuss these approaches and therefore be able to arrive at the best combination for their own situation.

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Authors:
Galtung, J.

REVIEWS

Bloomfield, D., Barnes, D.T., and Huyse, L.: "Reconciliation After Violent Conflict: a handbook" (www.idea.int)

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Authors:
Meintjes, Bernice

SUMMARIES

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Authors:
Editors