Source: (2003) In Carol A.L. Prager and Trudy Govier, Dilemmas of Reconciliation: Cases and Concepts. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Pp. 197-219.

One cannot say very much about the prospects of reconciliation without first reflecting on exactly what it is that gives rise to demands for it. What are the wellsprings of the collective perpetration of harm? Where does responsibility for it lie? What is its impact on victims and perpetrators? Under all the circumstances, can the gaps in the opposing perceptions of both groups ever be bridged? These are questions that can be explored in the context of concrete historical examples, as some of the contributors to this volume have done, or more generally, as others have done. It is this latter approach that I take here. (excerpt)