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De-linkage processes and grassroots movements in transitional justice.

Kovras, Iosif
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Cooperation and Conflict. 47(1):88– 105.

Transitional justice literature has highlighted a negative relationship between enforced
disappearances and reconciliation in post-conflict settings. Little attention has been paid to
how human rights issues can become stepping-stones to reconciliation. The article explains the
transformation of the Cypriot Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) from an inoperative body
into a successful humanitarian forum, paving the way for the pro-rapprochement bi-communal
grassroots mobilization of the relatives of the missing. By juxtaposing the experience of Cyprus
with other societies confronting similar problems, the article shows how the issue of the missing
can become a driving force for reconciliation. The findings indicate that a policy delinking
humanitarian exhumations from the prospect of a wider political settlement facilitates positive
transformation in protracted human rights problems and opens up a window of opportunity to
grassroots actors. (author’s abstract)


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