Dealing with the Past

Enabling transition from a violent past to social and societal transformation

Gedenkfeier Serbien 2016
© forumZFD

Informationen zum Seminar


What: Dealing with the Past

When: Take-off session on 12 October 2022 from 12:00 to 13:30 CEST

Online Live Sessions from 19 October to 30 November 2022, every Wednesday from 12:00 to 13:30 CEST/CET

Where: Online

Language: English

Price: 500

Early Bird: 450 when booking before 21 September 2022

Additional Costs: None.

Registration Deadline is: 5 October 2022

There are still a few places left. To register please use our online registration form here.

Who can register for this course?

The course is designed for practitioners and scholars working on projects that aim to tackle the impact of past violence on hopes for a transition to peace. Participants work in a wide variety of contexts that have been marked by violent conflict. The course is limited to 16 participants.


Among the most daunting challenges facing societies emerging from violent conflict is what to do with the gross violations of human rights committed during the conflict. History holds countless examples of societies that sought to ignore such atrocities only to be confronted by continual re-escalation. Long after a formal peace has been declared, victims especially may feel the impact of the war still raging – relentless in its demand for answers, in the damage caused, in the absence of acknowledgement, accountability, reparation, or even change. Dealing with the Past (DwP) comprises creative strategies capable of shifting this – it is about enabling social transformation and making comprehensive transition out of violence a reality.

The Organizing Tool for the seminar content is the Dealing with the Past Conceptual Framework, widely used in Germanophone Europe and in Germany’s multi- and bilateral cooperation abroad. Drawing on the Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, the Framework affirms four rights – the Right to Justice, the Right to Truth, the Right to Reparations, and Guarantees of Nonrecurrence – and sets them within a framework of conflict transformation. The training devotes a minimum of one full week to each of the four rights. It also introduces Conflict Transformation at the outset and then weaves it through the ensuing weeks, drawing on it as an access point to the complimentary fields of Restorative Justice and Reconciliation, as well as to civil society initiatives.


  • To expose trainees to the challenges to peace that ensue from an episode of mass violence in which gross violations of human rights (GVHRs) have occurred and to introduce the concept of Conflict Transformation.
  • To establish trainees’ fluency in basic DwP theory – to each of the four rights in the DwP Framework as well as to the concepts of Restorative Justice and Reconciliation – and to grow their sensitivity to strategic dilemmas, using both illustration of emblematic cases and comparative analyses across contexts.
  • To expose participants to examples of civil society facilitated DwP initiatives.
  • To enable each trainee to build a DwP strategy for one contemporary situation.

Key Concepts

  • Dealing with the Past
  • Transitional Justice
  • Justice
  • Right to Know / Right to Truth
  • Reparations
  • Guarantees of Nonrecurrence
  • Gross violations of human rights
  • Victims
  • Restorative Justice
  • Reconciliation



The Academy’s Dealing with the Past Toolkit forms the core reading and is complemented by a Resource List that is continually updated in response to trainee need.

Delivery of the content will entail the flipped classroom pedagogy, which here looks as follows:

  • Participants select a context on which to focus throughout the 7 weeks.
  • Trainer delivers a 40-min pre-recorded lecture using PowerPoint and Mentimeter on the coming week’s topic (available immediately after live session): intro to core concepts and theory; extensive historical illustration.
  • Participants write one-page response each week, applying learning to their chosen context.
  • Trainer responds in time for participants to prepare for live session.
  • The 90-min live session comprises a trainer-facilitated, peer discussion, each of which closes with all participants noting steps taken on their learning journey, using Miro.

In the course, participants use a variety of tools, including a digital learning platform, a video conferencing tool, and an online whiteboard. Participants should therefore have a good internet connection (1 Mbit down/upload or better). A headset is highly recommended.


  • Ahead of Webinar One: an image, poem or phrase.
  • Ahead of Webinars Two to Five: a one-page response to the week’s theme (Right to Justice, the Right to Know, the Right to Reparations, Guarantees of non-recurrence) applying it the contemporary DwP challenge they have chosen.
  • For the final week: A short Powerpoint presentation in which each participant use their weekly one-pagers as building blocks and puts them into a coherent framework that will constitute a strategy for DwP in the context they have chosen.

After a successful participation, participants receive a certificate.

Total workload: 5 to 8 hours per week

    Please register before September 28, 2022.