Cultural legacies of violence and conflict transformation

Project Details


Contemporary ethnonational conflicts are often ignited by memories of past violence, which are exploited to create antagonistic representations of the past and sectarian identities that, in turn, increase tension and hostilities. However, by engaging all sides of a conflict in a dialogue about their past(s), memory and history can also be used as resources for reconciliation in a process that may promote empathy, prevent conflict or help de-escalate existing conflicts. The purpose of the research proposed herein is to examine how contested memories and violent histories may be transformed from liabilities into assets for conflict transformation. The project will map and compare initiatives by civil society groups around the globe that publically address violent histories and that call for recognition and dialogue among rival camps to promote reconciliation and democratic politics. This is the first systematic mapping effort of such initiatives using an innovative, online mapping tool that will make all collected information easily accessible to scholars, civil society leaders, journalists, and policy makers. Examining how memory and history can be effectively implemented for reconciliation in conflict and post-conflict scenarios will improve our understanding of these under-examined areas of conflict studies and help further develop the neglected tool of conflict transformation.

Effective start/end date1/01/16 → …


  • United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)


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