Source: (2000) Peace and Conflict Studies 7 (May).

Communal conflicts have beset many parts of the world in recent decades. As attempts are made to end violence and resolve conflicts, a number of countries have launched commissions to seek truth and sometimes reconciliation. Lerche observes that national reconciliation is a difficult technique to apply and a difficult goal to achieve. Often there is a tension between the pursuit of reconciliation and the provision of justice for victims of past wrongs. Lerche explores this tension by examining the concept and application of reconciliation, truth commissions and reconciliation, and the need to develop a new political culture in societies recovering from conflict. Throughout the essay examples from various countries (e.g., South Africa and Guatemala) illustrate the issues.


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