Reconciliation as a Peace-building Process


09 juillet 2018

10 juillet 2018


Institut ISPOLE, Place Montesquieu, Lecl 93

Since the end of the Cold War, more and more specialists in history, philosophy, psychology and other social sciences pay attention to what is designated as one the most important conditions for maintaining a stable peace: reconciliation between former enemies. However, reconciliation appears as an undertheorized phenomenon and a rather crude analytical tool. Therefore, it seems crucial to question the scope and limits of reconciliation as a peace-building process.

The purpose of this conference is neither to overcome all the shortcomings of this concept, nor to define it once and for all. It is rather to put into question some basic assumptions regarding reconciliation after wars and mass atrocities. Indeed, how can numerous policy-makers, practitioners and scholars contend that reconciliation is necessary while it is often distrusted and rejected by victims? How can this concept be described as an obvious goal for some and as “indecent” by others? Is reconciliation, as such, always necessary and possible? Aren’t there cases where calls for reconciliation would prove to be fruitless and even detrimental for peace and/or democracy? In other words, in which conditions is reconciliation appropriate and effective – and in which cases is it not?

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