Dealing with the Past

Remembrance, reconciliation and reintegration

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Among the many challenges facing societies in post-conflict transition, dealing with the emotional, psychological and social wounds left by the violations of human rights committed during the conflict is probably one of the most complex tasks. History is filled with examples of societies that ignored such atrocities in an attempt to leave the conflict behind – only to find themselves caught in continually renewing cycles of recrimination and animosity. For long after a formal peace has been declared, victims feel the impact of war. The demand for answers and accountability shows only the surface of deep wounds that result in social fracture.

In order to answer to this challenge, it is important to understand the historical dynamics that lead to this fracture, the roles in which the perpetrators and victims might get stuck, the reforms that public institutions need to put in place and the important part that history plays. This course focuses exactly on that process of social transformation that takes place through a new, shared, empathic reading and understanding of history and conflict. The aim is to comprehend how that process can occur and be accompanied, and which possible measures might be implemented to break the cycle of grief and blame so that a transition to the reality of the present can take place.

Seminar content

  • Understanding of the challenges that arise in a post-conflict society and the wounds left by the episodes of violence at the different levels
  • Strategies for addressing this situation and familiarisation with the field of Dealing with the Past
  • Fostering of context sensitivity through an understanding of different situations across the world
  • Comparative analysis across post-conflict areas
  • Development of a comprehensive Dealing with the Past strategy for a contemporary situation of participants’ choice

Information about the seminar

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