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“Intergroup Forgiveness: East Timorese and Angolan Perspectives”

Neto, Félix
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) Journal of Peace Research. 44(6): 711-728

The present study is a survey on intergroup forgiveness conducted among people from East Timor and
Angola, most of whom have been personally touched by the various conflicts affecting their countries.
Only one of the two aspects of intergroup forgiveness was assessed: granting forgiveness. A sample of
354 East Timorese adults was presented with a questionnaire addressing the meaningfulness of intergroup
forgiveness and possible conceptions about granting intergroup forgiveness. Using exploratory
factor analysis, an eight-factor model was derived from the participants’ responses. Using confirmatory
factor analysis, this model was subsequently tested on a sample of 250 Angolan adults. In both samples,
a large majority of participants agreed with the idea that a group of people can forgive another group
of people. Furthermore, the model derived from the East Timorese data also fitted the data from the
Angolan sample: in both samples, the participants appeared to have articulated conceptions on what
could define an intergroup granting of forgiveness. Specifically, a majority of participants agreed with
the idea that (a) the aim of this process is reconciliation and that intergroup forgiveness is not strictly
conditional on adequate reparation or compensation, and (b) this process must be democratic; in other
words, granting forgiveness should be decided by a majority, and only then could forgiveness be granted
on behalf of the whole community.


AbstractAfricaPost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in Schools
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