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

Alexander Ramsbotham and Zahbia Yousuf introduce the Accord Insight 3 project and publication. They emphasise the importance of transforming relationships in peace processes, and draw on the publication's case studies to present four key priorities to enable this transformation:

  • Tranforming relationships from the middle out to avoid reinforcing the gap between 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' reconciliation efforts
  • Upstream reconciliation can begin to address legacies of violence and can have a positive influence on peace processes, even in the absence of a political agreement 
  • Building new relationships, not restoring old ones necessitates acknolwedging harm and grievance on all sides of conflict and looking beyond the victim/perpetrator dichotomy
  • Relational statebuilding, including institutional reform, are rarely associated with reconciliation but should be seen as integral to peacebuilding