Mapping Reconciliation: Looking at Bosnia’s Peacebuilding
Reconciliation, as a post-conflict peacebuilding activity for social reconstruction, has gained academic and policy recognition for its potential in rebuilding relationships broken during war. It has been linked with activities for establishing institutional mechanisms dealing with human rights atrocities, focusing on victims’ rights to truth, and justice, as well as long-term development strategies for divided societies. Reconciliation is a key category that receives donors’ support, seen as a precondition of peace (Fischer, 2011).
For those engaged in post-conflict reconstruction, reconciliation is a growing field for transitional justice, accountability processes and rebuilding rule of law in divided societies. All strategies have received ongoing international assistance (Sriram, 2010), as practice in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia showed (through investment in International tribunals and Judicial sector reform). Academics centred on divided societies state that reconciliation can help meet the everyday needs of those living in peacebuilding societies (Eastmond, 2010) via inter-ethnic dialogue, social empowerment, deliberative democracy (Yordán, 2003) and also on ideational, cultural and non-state factors that can foster legitimacy to peace activities.
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