Dealing with the Past - Exchange and Reflect


The Multidimensional Remembrance Monitor (5): „We would have resisted!“ A sign for historical learning or an expression of careless arrogance?

23. Jan. 2020
Michael Papendick and Dr. Jonas Rees

The culture of remembrance in Germany, widely appreciated internationally, is grounded in numerous state-funded institutions and an extremely vital civil society engagement. But what do we know about its impact on the attitudes of ordinary Germans?

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German Funding for Peace Mediation

17. Jan. 2020
Editorial staff - FriEnt

The German Federal Foreign Office (“Auswärtiges Amt”) has been scaling up its efforts in the field of peace mediation. Projects dealing with national dialogues, reconciliation during and after conflicts, dealing with the past and transitional justice are eligible for funding. Applicants may apply for funding at any time.

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New AU policy pushes frontiers of transitional justice

14. Jan. 2020
[Translate to English:]
Solomon Ayele Dersso

Balancing of looking back and looking forward encourages creating conditions that facilitate acknowledgement of responsibility and the suffering of victims while facilitating reconciliation and restoration. The AU policy is a homage to the wealth of resources that African legal instruments avail for designing and implementing tailor made TJ processes.

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The Multidimensional Remembrance Monitor (4): Family narratives as sources of historical remembrance are fragmentary and prone to biases

09. Jan. 2020
Michael Papendick and Dr. Jonas Rees

The culture of remembrance in Germany, widely appreciated internationally, is grounded in numerous state-funded institutions and an extremely vital civil society engagement. But what do we know about its impact on the attitudes of ordinary Germans? Researchers in Bielefeld have begun to study this question systematically and have developed the Multidimensional Remembrance Monitor (MEMO) for this purpose. They present some of their findings in a series of five short articles.

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How to transform zipper-shaped conflict narratives: a methodological approach in a nutshell

06. Jan. 2020
Andrea Zemskov-Züge

In order to transform conflict-supporting narratives, one needs to understand their construction principles. Then it becomes possible to facilitate processes with key narrators to encourage them to incorporate new elements in their proven narratives.

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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?

Dealing with the past is often subject to passionate political struggles - on the national, as well as on the international level. They can lead to rather supportive or suppressive, truly effective or ineffective frameworks, institutionalised by state-policies and laws. However, below the surface, political struggles are about the access to scare resources, institutions or, more generally, the distribution of power. What political initiatives exist that try to foster inclusive and coherent processes of dealing with the past? Why do they exist and what is their room for manoeuvre?

 

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?

Exposure to trauma and bereavement is common in conflict-affected regions. It affects indivduals and whole societies. Enjoying peace after the crisis is often impossible. How helpful is trauma resolution to the prevention of future conflicts? Who does trauma therapy address? Are there best-practice examples in post-crisis countries?

 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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