RECONCILIATION: Clearing the Past, Building a Future
ISBN: 978-82-300-0722-8
Year: 2012

Price: 20 €
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RECONCILIATION: Clearing the Past, Building a Future

This book is directed to those who carry out reconciliations, or assist others to do so. It is a manual for practitioners, and an examination of theory in reconciliation. It will expand the repertoire of anyone involved in reconciliation, examining the elements of the process and dissecting the many dilemmas in this area. The book is rich in case examples. In the case of Galtung, these are based on his extensive experience in reconciliations at the level of states, nations and large social groups. Gender issues in reconciliation are examined, and roles of social sectors such as media, law and education. The boundaries of the meaning of reconciliation are stretched to apply the concept to reconciliation with the earth and with death. The authors end with a list of recommendations to practitioners.

by Joanna Santa Barbara, Johan Galtung and Diane Perlman


Joanna Santa Barbara, Johan Galtung and Diane Perlman
RECONCILIATION: Clearing the Past, Building a Future

Table of Contents

Prologue: A Mini-Theory of Peace

Chapter 1: Some Preliminary Considerations
Chapter 2: Elements of Reconciliation
Chapter 3: Dilemmas of Reconciliation
Chapter 4: Reconciliation With the Earth
Chapter 5: Ten Cases and Some Reflections

Chapter 6: Conciliation as Liberation From Trauma
Chapter 7: Intention-Identification-Irreversibility-Community
Chapter 8: Reconciliation After Violence: Twelve Approaches
Chapter 9: Reconciliation With Death
Chapter 10: Ten Cases From Geopolitics and Some Reflections

Chapter 11: Reconciliation After Structural-Cultural Violence
Chapter 12: Multitrack Reconciliation
Chapter 13: Training and Socialization in Reconciliation
Chapter 14: Gender and Reconciliation
Chapter 15: If It Does Not Work, What Then?

Epilogue: Some Conclusions


Joanna Santa Barbara, Johan Galtung and Diane Perlman
RECONCILIATION: Clearing the Past, Building a Future

Prologue: A Mini-Theory of Peace
What kind of mini-theory do we want? We want the basic ideas to apply all over geographical space, to all cultures; and all over social space, at the micro level of persons, the meso level of groups, the macro level of nations and states, and the mega level of civilizations and regions. The basic point of departure is to reduce violence at all places, at all levels. Any theory of health does the same: the ideas apply to everybody, regardless of where in geography and society; as the Hippocratic Oath proclaims.
But health theory is not time-invariant. Past-present-future give rise to rehabilitation-curative medicine-preventive medicine; depending on when disease has struck-strikes-may strike.
Peace theory does the same with violence:
the violence of the past causes trauma;
the violence of the present is rooted in unresolved conflicts;
the violence of the future can be prevented by peace projects.
Like rehabilitation peace theory & practice offer reconciliation; like curative medicine conflict transforation to handle violence, and like preventive medicine peace-building projects.
Do all three, past-present-future; they all reduce suffering and build fulfillment. But, maybe we are best at the present, and not so good at rehabilitation-reconciliation, nor at preventive medicine and peace projects? We cannot blame people for being preoccupied with the immediate, the disease or violence striking right now, here. But the others also matter, always, anywhere.
That leads to the same problem in both fields. We may cure and solve, not only symptoms like fever and violence, but deeper causes, like deep infections and conflicts. A blessing for those struck by disease or violence, and yet, this is only negative health, absence of disease; and negative peace, absence of violence.
Positive health, and positive peace, go beyond that, adding to therapy or solution something else. That "something else" also goes beyond preventing new outbreaks of disease or violence. Words like work and love, filled with capacity and joy, would apply to positive health, and cooperation, for mutual and equal benefit, and harmony, suffering the suffering of others and enjoying their joy to positive peace. The hypothesis would be that they do something to us, more individual in the case of health, and more relational in the case of peace, that strengthens us, and provides some immunity against disease and violence. But positive health and peace are goals in their own right whether they contribute to negative health-peace or not.
How do these three jobs, past, present and future, relate to each other? General rule, do all three. But there is a problem.
Thus, rehabilitation before cure is a deception. The disease may recur without rehabilitation in the sense of back to normal. But health theory makes a distinction between acute and chronic diseases; the latter are stable, and we can co-exist with them. Make rehabilitation on top of that, like training in co-existence.
And reconciliation before conflict transformation is also a deception, known as pacification. The violence may recur without reconciliation in the sense of back to normal. "Conflict transformation" opens for the chronic. There is a residue, but it is stable, and the parties can handle it without violence.
Work on positive and negative, health and peace, are not exclusive, But handling acute illness and violence has priority, and should generally precede rehabilitation and reconciliation.
That said, reconciliation work is peace work; reconciliation culture is a major part of peace culture. The book explores how.
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