Beyond justice: Reconciliation and social reconstruction in post-conflict societies

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Beyond justice: Reconciliation and social reconstruction in post-conflict societies

  1. 1. Beyond justice: Reconciliation andsocial reconstruction in post-conflict societies Elisabeth Kaneza Module: Forced Migration
  2. 2. OverviewO IntroductionO TerminologyO The role of trials in transitional justiceO Social breakdown and social reconstructionO Community responsesO Bringing justice and reconciliation together: Gacaca in RwandaO Conclusion
  3. 3. TerminologyO Transitional Justice- Processes by which states seek to redress the violations of a prior regime (Fletcher & Weinstein, 2002)O Reconciliation- an agreement or transaction renouncing, either unilaterally or reciprocally, all claims.- Solution to the dispute does not lie in a judicial decision but rather in an agreement between the parties themselves (UN Under Secretary General, 2002)
  4. 4. The role of trials in transitional justiceO Assumption that rule of law and democracy is a main component for reconciliationO International trials seen as single appropriate solution for communal violence
  5. 5. Arguments for legal responses to conflicts O State-sponsored mechanisms to identify and punish perpetrators O Judicial truthmaking to manifest the „facts“ and prevent denial O Responding to the needs of victims O Establishing the rule of law O Promoting reconciliation O Individualization of guilt
  6. 6. Criticism to legal responses to conflicts (1) O Rationale of international criminal trials imported uncritically to different socio- political contexts O Need to take into account alternative understandings of law, and therefore different expectations for justice O Lack of empirical data confirming preventative value of trials O Focus on „masterminds“ ignores other categories of involved groups
  7. 7. Criticism to legal responses to conflicts (2) O Therapeutic nature of criminal trials is too simplistic O Need for a better understanding of the influence of culture in determining beliefs about the causes of catastrophic events O Focus on the „collective“ (power of influence, denial as defense mechanism) O Therefore, social repair
  8. 8. Social breakdown/construction modelEconomic instability, Organized political instability, resistance,isolated resistance, Episode of violence Repression extremism, government persecution response War or mass violence Social breakdown Destruction of War crimes infrastructure Intervention for International peace (diplomatic, response (global, military) regional)
  9. 9. Community responsesO Focus on community as a seperate unit of analysisO Restoration of infrastructure and economyO Good governance (transparency, shift in political power)O Restoration of agency to impacted communitiesO Needs analysis
  10. 10. Bringing justice and reconciliation together: Gacaca in RwandaO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiDea- PNoyw
  11. 11. ConclusionO Synergy between criminal trials and alternative interventionsO Different views, meanings of justice and ways of coming to terms with conflict must be taken into considerationO Identification of the collective vs. individual perpetratorO Retributive justice for sustainable stability
  12. 12. THANK YOU VERY MUCHFOR YOURATTENTION!
  13. 13. Q&A/ DiscussionQuestions for discussion1. Which factors would you give priority in a post-conflict society?2. Is reconciliation vital for social reconstruction or development?3. Are reconciliation and justice conflicting concepts? What comes first?
  14. 14. ReferencesO Fletcher, L.E. & Weinstein, H.M. (2002). Violence and social repair: Rethinking the contribution of justice to reconciliation. Human rights quarterly, 24 (3), p.573- 639O Fry, D.P. (2006). The human potential for peace. An anthropological challenge to assumptions about war and violence. Oxford: University PressO Lorey, D.E. & Beezley W.H. (2002). Genocide, collective violence, and popular memory. The politics of rembrance in the twentieth century. Washington: Scholarly ResourcesO Finlay, A. (2011). Governing ethnic conflict. Consociation, identity and the price of peace. New York: Routledge

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