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Where conflict resolution meets restorative justice.

Hadjipavlou, Maria
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Paper presented at the 1st International Symposium on Restorative Justice and Human Rights. 2-7 June 2012, Skopelos Island, Greece.

The inter-disciplinary field of conflict resolution both theoretically and in an applied fashion has
developed out of the need to challenge the traditional theories and methods in solving problems
whether at the international, local, institutional or the inter-personal levels. My presentation will focus
on the use of conflict resolution in international conflicts and its conversation with restorative justice and
feminist theory. What are the underlying assumptions about international conflict from a conflict
resolution and feminist perspectives? Why such an approach gives emphasis on societal attitudinal
changes toward the Other and why relationship building are important factors in restoring traumatized
communities which are in a conflict system? How do issues of power asymmetries and security issues
being addressed? There is a lot of similarity in the application and tools used by both Restorative Justice
and Conflict resolution. Both support unofficial processes where the grievances of both sides are
addressed and mutual recognition of harm done to the other. The need for apology and reconciliation
processes as well as truth commissions have been used as alternative tools as well as conflict resolution
workshop skills training in putting the foundations for a peace culture and social-political change. I would
suggest that a conversation among disciplines, theoreticians and practitioners is of paramount
importance in rebuilding traumatized communities. During the discussion I will make reference to my
empirical and experiential work in the context of Cyprus. (author’s abstract)


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