Dealing with the Past - Exchange and Reflect


The Impact of Amnesties on Violence and Peace

27. Feb. 2020
Geoff Dancy

Do legal amnesties for combatants help end civil wars? International policy experts often take it for granted that amnesties promote negotiated settlements with rebels. However, a large number of amnesties are followed by continued fighting or a return to the battlefield. What, then, are the factors that make amnesties effective or ineffective?

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Public History – a short introduction

Ljubinka Petrovic-Ziemer

Public history can be described as a wide range of activities that relate to the past, create and shape historical knowledge in the public sphere for and with a non-academic audience. The post offers basic information on the linkage between Public history and civic engagement, collaborative practice and ‘shared authority’ as key elements of public history, and finally formats and sites exemplary for public history.

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Dialogue with the devil

24. Jan. 2020
Nenad Vukosavljević

We need more enemy inclusive projects and programs. We should avoid any collectivization of guilt.

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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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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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