Erin Jessee

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In everyday usage, the term reconciliation references a process of restoring amicable relations or facilitating a shared understanding among otherwise conflicted parties. However, in recent years this term has been increasingly used to encapsulate efforts to promote social and individual repair in the aftermath of war and related mass atrocities, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide—all of which are prohibited in international law. As such, reconciliation is often closely associated with international criminal law and a range of transitional justice and peacebuilding mechanisms, including trials, commissions, commemorative sites and events, that aim to restore a sense of shared community, promote renewed trust and interdependence among civilians and parties to the conflict, enable social justice and civil rights, and ensure long-term political stability (Pham et al. 2004). It is likewise often pursued in tandem with community-based initiatives that seek to take universalized norms and practices related to reconciliation and render them more culturally and politically appropriate for a particular post-conflict setting, often by promoting locally conceived alternatives to international justice and commemoration. To this end, scholars and practitioners who study reconciliation in various settings have emerged from the disciplines of international criminal law, anthropology, history, politics, social work, the forensic sciences, and beyond, and many of the resulting studies are thoroughly interdisciplinary and cross-cultural in scope.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender
Subtitle of host publicationWar
EditorsAndrea Pető
Place of PublicationFarmington Hills, MI
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameMacmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks
PublisherMacmillan Reference USA


  • reconciliation
  • genocide
  • war
  • gender
  • Rwanda

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