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Rebuilding an Inclusive Political Community After War.

Mani, Rama
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Security Dialogue. 36(4):511-526.

This article argues that the central need in a society in the aftermath
of violent conflict is to rebuild the state’s representation function,
which should be constructed around an inclusive political and civic
community. This inclusive community must overcome the fragmentation
of society that occurs or is exacerbated during war, and
view all community members as survivors of conflict. The main
means of pursuing reconciliation in post-conflict societies has been
through measures of ‘transitional justice’, primarily trials or truth
commissions. However, this article argues that these transitional
justice measures, while fulfilling certain needs and accruing some
benefits, do not necessarily fulfil the specific need of delivering
reconciliation or helping to rebuild inclusive societies. Instead, these
measures could, paradoxically, deepen divisions within society. A
new paradigm of ‘reparative justice’ is thus proposed as part of a
comprehensive alternative, within the framework of a critical
approach to post-conflict peacebuilding (PCPB), that would facilitate
the reconstruction of an inclusive political and civic community while
pursuing the objectives of justice and reconciliation. (author’s abstract).


AbstractPost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in Schools
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