Reconciliation rising: The roles of the everyday and the informal in successful post-conflict reconciliation

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Post-conflict reconciliation has become a problematic concept due to the expectation that its success entails formerly opposed groups coming to terms with the past and building a shared identity between them. This is usually achieved through controlled and designed efforts to force inter-ethnic interaction. These are seen as artificial and imposed by the intended beneficiaries of the process and are subsequently rejected. The articles in this special section reveal these challenges and disrupt our understanding of what successful reconciliation looks like. They do so by examining interethnic interaction at different levels and in different realms: the micro and the macro; the formal and the informal; the individual and the societal. The special section asks: what types of interethnic interaction facilitate reconciliation? How do interactions at one level affect other levels? And, how can these interactions be studied? The papers show that successful effects of reconciliation can move from the bottom-up; that formal institutions and elite actors can hinder reconciliation; and, that qualitative ethnographically sensible methodologies effectively capture these effects and take into account the specificity of reconciliation processes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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