Dealing with the Past - Exchange and Reflect


New German Strategy to Support Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation

30. Sep. 2019
Natascha Zupan

The German Government has launched its first Interministerial Strategy to Support Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation, which aims to strengthen and advance its engagement in this field.

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Painful truths need skilled communicators

Ulrike Schmid

Talking about oppression, anger, experiences of humiliation, even violence and torture so that others recognise these realities without resisting or justifying themselves: skilled communicators can do this. The German Government should assist key stakeholders at the local level to develop these capacities – with external process facilitation as protective support.

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Dealing with war-related sexualised violence: lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina

27. Aug. 2019
Jeannette Böhme

The sexualised violence that occurs during civil wars is rarely addressed in peace agreements. As a result, survivors are stigmatised by society and left to deal with their trauma on their own. The German Government should give more support to women’s rights organisations.

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For pragmatic holism: History and memory in conflict transformation

22. Aug. 2019
Andrea Zemskov-Züge, Beatrix Austin

The German Government, researchers and practitioners engaged in dealing with the past should think beyond the Joinet Principles. They must critically challenge social and political narratives and strengthen empathy and dialogue capacities – just as much as justice – in conflict-affected societies.

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The crisis of transitional justice: an opportunity for history work

Constantin Goschler

Transitional justice is in crisis. With the end of “the West”, not only has it lost its normative frame of reference; it is also accused of being a project of the cosmopolitan elite. Transitional justice actors must therefore defend and justify its values with credibility. History work should make use of the potential afforded by public history.

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About this Blog

We collect and collate practical insights, experiences and approaches relating to the challenges of implementing dealing with the past processes in the world as well as in Germany itself, thereby promoting truly universal learning.


Issues

Transitional Justice is a professionalised and internationally accepted policy field. But do its implicit and explicit foundations still hold good? Which of its underlying assumptions, patterns of thinking or practices should be critically reviewed?

a. Peacebuilding requires the integration of conflicting narratives. To that end, these narratives must be transformed/made “fit for peace”. How can this be achieved?
b. How can diverse perspectives be made visible in social discourse – or in a museum? What is the connecting element in this diversity? How can relativism and arbitrariness be excluded?

Transitional Justice is value-oriented and aims to help build sustainably peaceful and just societies. What do we know about its real impacts?

Transitional Justice sees itself as genuinely preventive. What can be done to strengthen its prevention capacities?

a. Gender in practice is primarily associated with the integration of women and their perspectives in processes and institutions. Which challenges need to be resolved through practical action?
b. Which other topics that can be addressed through TJ measures lend themselves to consideration through a gender lens?

 a. Which opportunities are opened up by the digitalisation of memory? What can be done to minimise risks and avert hazards?
b. How can knowledge and narratives about the past reach the general public?

Those born afterwards bear no direct responsibility. They may choose to ignore history or identify with perpetrators or victims. What can be done to awaken young people’s interest in history and motivate them to engage in building peaceful relations between communities?

Please feel free to suggest a new discussion topic in your blog post, such as issues relating to experience with Transformative Justice, reparation programmes, dealing with perpetrators and much more.

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