Making peace with the past: transforming broken relationships
Publication date: 
2016
Accord issue: 
Insight 3

David Bloomfield counters notions that reconciliation is soft and non-contentious post-conflict activity, arguing that it is a tough and essential component in rebuilding societies affected by violent conflict. Bloomfield laments the manner in which the transitional justice framework has relegated the importance of reconciliation, despite the former's overemphasis on court-based retributive processes. He stresses that reconciliation, with its emphasis on acknowledging victims, addressing structural violence, and envisioning a better future, must be harnessed if societies emerging from conflict are to build sustainable peace and permanent change.