Reconciliation & Forgiveness

Our work for reconciliation and forgiveness is explained below. We believe it is so important - as part of the human dimension of conflict most often forgotten in conflict-handling and peacebuilding.

Remember that you can now also find reconciliation videos on TFF Video Channel on YouTube.



Yusra Moshtat, Göteborgs Fria, 26:e maj 2007
"I weave my memories and my hopes for Iraq"
See how Yusra Moshtat weaves the symbols of peace and beauty into her huge carpets about Iraq.

Evelin Lindner, March 2007
Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
A new unique journal with a uniquely important theme - published by the UN University for Peace, Costa Rica

Sören Sommelius, 7:e januari 2007
Här avrättas sanningen
Om Saddam, sannings- och försoningsarbete



Evelin Lindner, August 11, 2006
Making Enemies - Humiliation and International Conflict
Pathbreaking book on one of the most fundamental - but sadly overlooked - aspects of all conflicts. See all you need here to order it.

Evelin Lindner, Ralph Summy and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, June 26, 2006
Humiliation and History in Global Perspective - Special issue of "Social Alternatives," Vol. 25, No. 1, First Quarter, 2006
Progress can be made in preventing, managing or resolving so-called intractable conflicts if the roots of the problem are unearthed. While the global history of humiliation that unfolds in the following pages makes for depressing reading in one sense, in another it provides the framework for understanding how to transform such events into peaceful outcomes.

Evelin Lindner, June 22, 2006
How becoming a global citizen can have a healing effect
The question of "home" is profoundly relevant for the inhabitants of planet Earth. It is relevant for the identity of each citizen and for the solution of conflicts around the world. Do we wish to build a world of domination/submission, where a few have luxurious homes and the rest has virtually nothing? Do we envisage a world of separate nations (with "enemy nations" endangering our homes)? How should local and global aspects of identity be combined? What should we reply, when we are asked, "Where are you from?" A personal reflection on how life can be shaped to fit a larger reality.

Vibeke Vindeløv, June 22, 2006
New International Masters in Mediation and Conflict Resolution
TFF Associate heads a new international master developed in cooperation between the University of Utrecht and the University of Copenhagen. By linking the individual level to the social and international levels, the course aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of conflict and conflict resolution.

Book by Evelin Linder - May 16, 2006
Making Enemies. Humiliation and International Conflict
Along with the more predictable effects of intentional humiliations such as those at Abu Graib, Dr. Linder examines and explains, across history and nations, how this little-understood emotion sparks outrage, uprisings, conflict and war.
"Lindner's research is pathbreaking with a global reach; it addresses one of the most fundamental causes underlying violence and terrorism. Learn also about the remarkable global network she has created and about Lindner herself," says Jan Oberg,

Jørgen Johansen, March 2, 2006
Study peace and reconciliation in Coventry
TFF board member Jørgen Johansen is a visiting scholar at Coventry University's Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies. This is a place where you can enroll and learn about the questions of life and death.

Evelin Lindner, March 1, 2006
"The Cartoon War" of humiliation versus humiliation: What should be done? (Pdf format)
I began my research on humiliation by asking myself: "What is the strongest obstacle to peace and to willingness to cooperate in our interdependent world? What is the strongest force that fuels destructive conflict?" Feelings of humiliation, is my answer.
What to do after these cartoons? 1. Cool down! 2. Avoid the pitfalls of victimhood! 3. Learn moderation and 4. Avoid bias and become aware of our commonalities by defining ourselves as one family of humankind.



Supporting Reconciliation and Forgiveness

An Ongoing Study of Processes and Policies and the Feasibility of Developing Action Research Networks in Conflict Regions

Else Hammerich, Christian Hårleman, Evelin Lindner, Gudrun Engström and Jan Oberg

Below we describe a research project which we developed during the year 2000. Since then the foundation has been looking for funds for this project, alas without result. Research into these issues would cost only a tiny fraction of the taxes that finance war.

We want every visitor to TFF to see how we work, understand how a major project is conceived and implemented. We want you to be able to help us with raising the funds for this project which we think is imperative for genuine peace-making, tolerance and democracy.

You can help either by making a donation here - or by suggesting where you think TFF should apply for funds. Tell us at

Much is known about human aggression and war but close to nothing is known about forgiving, reconciliation, tolerance and compassion.

It's time to study the science and art of forgiving, the methods of reconciliation - and give them appropriate resources in comparison with the billions of dollars squandered on the art of killing. This is a competent, comprehensive effort at necessary research.

Please support this new TFF initiative at peace preparation. If you want peace, the only logical thing is to prepare for that - not for war.


A. Summary

This study has two interrelated dimensions: a) to analyse and discuss reconciliation and forgiveness processes and policies in theory and in practice in conflict areas; and b) to define a framework for the establishment of a network of reconciliation and forgiveness action-research centres in a series of possible locations around the world. Based on visits and consultations with relevant parties, it will outline modalities, describe possible research and training orientation and elements of planning reconciliation and forgiveness processes at each location.

Reconciliation and forgiveness processes are imperative for restoration and normalisation after any period of violence and war. The problems and potentials of reconciliation and forgiveness, however, are under-researched theoretically as well as empirically.

Peace requires an upgrading of the human dimension as it pertains to the whole cycle of conflict; a guiding idea for this study is that forgiveness is an individual act of freeing oneself from the burden of hate and the desire for/right to revenge. It also frees, potentially, the other side from the burden of guilt and fear.

Reconciliation takes at least two, it aims at achieving something constructive out of a dark, hurtful past. It does not mean forgetting but, rather, remembering the past in order to live normally, more fully, in the future. We forgive because we cannot forget the past. The question is: do we know enough about these processes as they take place in complex conflict settings? And, when we do, how can the outsider be helpful to the parties who go through these processes.

The study, estimated to last for three years, will provide the Swedish government and other interested parties and sponsors with a research-based analysis and a feasibility study on which to develop policies in support of reconciliation and forgiveness, including political initiatives to establish centres for reconciliation and forgiveness as well as political, financial and technical support in order to secure the role and operations of such centres in the particular environments. The term 'feasibility' implies, also, that the study will determine where, for various reasons, it is not advisable to try to establish such centres but where less demanding activities may support local reconciliation and forgiveness.

The idea of establishing and operating specific action research centres for reconciliation and forgiveness is new and, thus, the study's basic character is explorative. It will be conducted through interviews, dialogues, workshops and brainstorms with many parties.

The word "centre" may imply a building or a hierarchical organization of staff, but does not have to; it denotes, rather, various forms of organised activities such as more or less mobile units, a series of programmes, a dynamic "node" or "site". Common for them is that the organisational form corresponds with local needs and values and has a high degree of flexibility to facilitate exploration and experimenting over time.

The idea implies that the centres will have basically three functions, namely:

a) to motivate, educate and train conflicting parties to generate and carry out practical activities which will promote reconciliation and forgiveness (tolerance, understanding, ethics of respect and nonviolence);

b) to generate new knowledge on reconciliation and forgiveness in theory and practice through study and research based on historic and cultural experiences of the involved parties in each area; and:

c) to share knowledge and facilitate mutual learning from one centre and one conflict area to other centres and areas (through personal as well as electronic linking).

The centres and their projects will develop on the basis of action research in a broad sense combined with mutual learning not only between former adversaries but also between supporting, sponsoring countries' expertise on the one hand and local people, experts and processes on the other.

The following conflict areas will be integrated in the study: 1) Eastern Europe - the Balkans; 2) the Great Lakes - Rwanda and Burundi; 3) Sierra Leone and/or Liberia; 4) Sri Lanka; 5) the Horn of Africa - Somalia and/or Eritrea/Ethiopia; 6) Eastern and Western Timor; 7) the Caucasus - Chechnya and/or Georgia, 8) Tibet/China and 9) Vietnam/the United States. A tenth conflict region could be located in Central or South America, e.g. Columbia, Guatemala or Nicaragua. Sponsors are invited to emphasize one or more of these or suggest other conflict areas.

Two documents come with this proposal, namely the 1999 TFF publication "The World Needs Reconciliation and Forgiveness Centres" - available here - which outlines the ideas on which this proposal is based. In addition, the 1999 TFF Newsletter contains the statement on "Time for Forgiveness" which offers the overall argument for the need to focus more thoroughly and intensely on the reconciliation and forgiveness processes pertaining to conflicts in various cultures - in and of itself and as a means to prevent the future recurrence of new bouts of violence.

These two documents are integral parts of the grant proposal and should be studied together with the full proposal.



B. Background - the Ministry, the feasibility study and TFF


Since the mid-1990s, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published two major studies on post-Cold War conflict management. The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, wrote a background paper for the first study. The theme of this contribution was reconciliation and forgiveness centres and the Ministry's report proposed the establishment of such a centre in Macedonia, in the wake of the conflicts and resolution processes in that region.

In 1999 TFF made "Time for Forgiveness" a recurring theme in all its work and its vision beyond the year 2000. In autumn 1999 TFF director Jan Oberg and Foundation adviser Christian Hårleman made a follow-up to the study at a meeting with Sven-Olof Petersson, the Ministry's Director-General for Political Affairs who indicated that the Ministry might be interested in having the concept and the idea of reconciliation and forgiveness centres developed further and a feasibility study conducted at a series of potential locations around the world's trouble spots. The feasibility study aims at defining the framework for reconciliation centres in a series of possible locations around the world.

In 1999, the TFF board decided to integrate a reconciliation and forgiveness perspective across its entire program. This decision was based on the foundation's conflict analysis and -mitigation work in all parts of former Yugoslavia since 1991, in Georgia since 1993 and its planned work with these two themes in Burundi as soon as a peace agreement is concluded there. The background and philosophy is described in the enclosed 1999 TFF Newsletter with the theme of "Time For Forgiveness" which was also converted to the Foundation's Millennium statement.

TFF's team members have conducted research as well as organised reconciliation and forgiveness seminars and training workshops in Eastern Slavonia since 1997 under the sponsorship of the UN mission there and the Council of Europe. The activities focussed on Croat and Serb school teachers, media people and senior high-school students. Likewise, it has conducted a series of conflict understanding and empowerment courses in all republics of former Yugoslavia, sponsored by SIDA. Since 1991 the foundation has worked with mitigation in the Kosovo conflict, between Belgrade and the moderate Albanian leadership in the Kosovo province (1992-1996), as well as with peace and negotiation plans and seminars for Albanian and Serb youth (1998). In 2000, TFF team members were invited by KFOR/UNMIK to assist in training the Kosovo Protection Corps in dialogue, negotiation and reconciliation.

Since 1991, TFF has emphasised exploratory, in-the-field, solution-oriented studies in conflict-mitigation. These have been carried out in co-operation primarily with TFF associates around the world. The experience gained has provided unique insights and opened the path to new development in theory formation and educational programs related to the human dimensions of conflict as they manifest themselves from the earliest stages of the conflict process to post-war recovery.

Associates of the foundation (e.g. Galtung, Ikeda, Jarman, Hammerich, Lindner, Mandhyan, Satha-Anand, Schultz, Sommelius, Vindeløv and Oberg) have, within the last few years, either conducted field research, edited books, written chapters and articles or given lectures and training on reconciliation and forgiveness.

Among the foundation's global network are Christian, Quaker, Buddhist, Muslim and Gandhian experts - theoreticians as well as field workers - with lifelong experiences in dealing with the human dimensions of conflict, big and small. The feasibility study will draw extensively on this multicultural, humanistic "capital." Where necessary, it will invite expertise from outside TFF's network, particularly when it comes to the understanding of specific conflicts, local cultures or other area expertise not covered by the foundation network. Thus, it will be multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural with an emphasis on psychology, anthropology, psycho-analysis, social psychology, philosophy and conflict-resolution, as well as peace and nonviolence research.



C. Placing the project in time and space


The new pattern of conflicts and wars emerging in the wake of the end of the Cold War creates intellectual, political and moral challenges. Civil societies and Governments increasingly conduct civil or intrastate wars in which civilians, civilian resources, social, economic and cultural structures are targeted. Contemporary wars seem to be increasingly societal with violence directed at social existence, community and people's identity. Invariably, ordinary citizens - indeed all of what is often called civil society - suffer in the extreme.

Emergency assistance to war-torn societies, followed by peace-keeping and peace-building, rehabilitation, reconstruction and other confidence-building measures are now seen as pillars in the re-establishment of normality. Development has served as a palliative element in the re-building efforts. Although the international community is, in principle, able to help improve the living conditions as well as to bring some peace and material development to affected areas, experiences from the last few years also make it abundantly clear that other types of measures and interventions than the traditional political (sometimes military) and socio-economic ones must be employed if desirable values such as peace, justice, basic human needs satisfaction, tolerance and democracy are to become reality and become locally self-sustainable.

The experiences from the last decades of inter and intrastate conflicts have indeed revealed that the human wounds from a conflict, in which large parts of the population have suffered, can only be completely cured if preceded by a healing process that is generally referred to as reconciliation.

Such reconciliation may take different forms. While national reconciliation may refer to the re-institutionalisation of legal, economic and political conditions, human reconciliation may involve participatory dialogues between former adversaries top-down as well as from the ground up. Even if the importance of the reconciliation process is recognised and made a cornerstone in strategies to achieve sustainable peace and development, it remains an open question how the international community can best help bring about reconciliation. Because, at the end of the day, reconciliation, forgiveness and tolerance are deeply human or existential problems and potentialities; they can be stimulated and encouraged - made safer - from the outside, but can only grow from inside the war-torn society and from the inside of human beings.

Although conflicts may be rooted in states and other organizations, they are fundamentally acted out through and by human beings, be it presidents, arty leaders, journalists or warlords; the victims are often children and youth, women and wounded soliders. The variety of ways in which conflicting actors live through conflict, violence, peace-building and reconciliation towards normalisation is under-researched as compared to those aspects of contemporary conflicts that fall within political science, international relations, strategic studies and defence and security considerations.

Governmental organizations are - with a few exceptions - not geared to handling these deeply human aspects of complex conflicts. Consequently, there is no (consensus on) normative systems, and it is not clear what reconciliation actually entails and how its progress should be measured. One consideration to be explored is this: given that reconciliation and forgiveness processes are very complex and likely to take a very long time, what can we do - and what should we not do - to facilitate a more speedy development towards deep reconciliation. How can it be integrated, if at all, with other peacebuilding and normalisation efforts?

The general, theoretical part of the study will focus on reconciliation processes as they have taken place for example in Europe after the Second World War, Okinawa, Vietnam and the United States, South Africa, and through various Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, etc. But it will also draw extensively on material from fiction literature, art or music, from the research on healing processes after grief and mourning, crisis psychology, religious processes, in short macro- as well as micro-level processes. It will study cases throughout the world where individuals have decided individually to forgive perpetrators or, collectively, chosen to reconciliate. (See various definitions and related terms discussed in the enclosed publication and statement.)

The study will focus also on inter-cultural dimensions of the problem and potentials. The modalities, processes and perceptions of reconciliation and forgiveness vary considerably from culture to culture, not only from individual to individual. While the project team will study what can be learnt about these phenomena in the Western world, it will pay particular attention to non-Western approaches - to ensure that centres and researchers will give priority to mutual learning and not will avoid one-way instruction. This is not only a normative consideration but also embedded in the very nature of the concept of forgiveness in general: it cannot be forced upon anyone, but must develop from the inside, from each personality and from each culture; it can not be imported, enforced or imitated from somewhere else.

Little is known about what has, throughout history and with different intensity in different cultures, encouraged and inspired people to go through genuine reconciliation and forgiveness processes. Allegedly, the very first university conference on these processes was held in 1995 and there exist fewer than ten study centres worldwide today, all very small, devoted exclusively to reconciliation research.

The ideas underlying the reconciliation itself, and/or reconciliation centres, are not only based on scholarship. They necessitate substantial learning from historical and contemporary cases. Research must focus not only (though mainly) on reconciliation but also on the causes of conflict and violence. Listening to the stories of conflicting parties at various levels and all sides and perspectives, impartially paying respect to all involved parties and their sufferings, is a sine qua non of serious study and comprehensive understanding.

To give just one example of the complexities and new fields opening up: very little is known and written about the likely individual and collective consequences over time of humiliation, of the feeling of being humiliated - but humiliation seems to be an integral part of all serious conflicts.

Thus, the study will be exploratory on several levels. There are reasons to believe that it can systematise and make a significant contribution to the accumulation of important new knowledge. Overall, if reconciliation was more the focus of research as well as public discussion, debate and international attention, it would be possible to grasp and systematically implement the essentials of reconciliation and forgiveness in many more core processes of healing after conflict and violence.



Quality articles - thought-provoking, informative, or "different"- written by people who are not TFF Associates. We recommend and share them with our readers.


TFF Associates -
experts on

Else Hammerich



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Reconciliation and forgiveness



D. Implementation of the study

D 1. The main activities of the study

The core study team, consisting of four persons, will draw upon existing literature and consult with relevant research centres. It will make use of TFF's global network of associated experts. The main thrust will be attentive listening to people in post-war areas with genuine and creative thoughts on how to make best use of their experience with reconciliation. It is of particular importance to tap into the inner wisdom of societies - history, rituals, religious norms and other healing processes known (but perhaps sometimes under-utilised) in each society and by each international agency.

The study is estimated to take three years with these five phases.


Phase I - Project set-up and consultation with sponsors

Establishment of project organization and staff; consultation with sponsors and final selection of conflict areas to be included in the study; schedule with assessment of which areas to visit when, in which time frame.


Phase II - Preparations and pre-studies

Literature studies and research over the Internet on each of the selected conflict areas. Mapping the intellectual-academic field of reconciliation as well as that pertaining to indigenous religion, healing and other emotive processes. Consultation with TFF associates, local and international area and other experts in order to supplement literature studies before the field trips. Practical preparation of field trips, including conversations with representatives of the countries to be visited.


Phase III - Field trips

Interviews will be carried out with representatives of governments, civil society organizations (or "NGOs"), religious groups, cultural leaders, intellectuals, and others relevant for the broad field of reconciliation, including people representing traditional healing and reconciliation practices. A draft proposal for centres and networks adapted to the local conditions will be developed, including feed-back from those interviewed.

Brainstorms and workshops with relevant parties on the spot will be arranged with the aim to produce ideas and practical proposals, and establish priorities for local communities - audiences which would also be natural partners to ask for feed- back on preliminary versions of the sub-reports for the areas.

Liaison will be established with members of the United Nations, OSCE or regional organisations being present in the area, and their ideas and wisdom will be tapped in order to draw upon their collective experience and pool of ideas about the modalities and content of the work of such centres.

While the core team will make relatively short visits to the field areas, local assistants and experts may form their own consultative group and suggest further ideas to be included in the final report. This type of local formation of sub-groups in each conflict area may have a positive effect on future reconciliation as well as provide an important sense of ownership by the local people who will play a crucial role in the establishment and management of the reconciliation and forgiveness centres.


Phase IV - Analysis and production of sub reports

Collected information will be analysed. Based on the results and findings, sub-reports will be drafted for each area and submitted to those who have previously been interviewed as key actors. Feed-back from them will then be integrated into the final area reports.


Phase V - Final reports

A full and comprehensive report will be produced with theory and concepts, general background, summaries of site analyses with local background, comparisons between the conflict areas as well as concluding chapters and recommendations. It would be distributed as a TFF report and/or (in larger version) as a small book with an international publisher and maketed on TFF's and other websites, through e-mail and through media attention.


D 2. The proposed conflict areas

It is proposed that the field trips encompass 10 areas where war or similar conditions prevail or have recently, e.g. within the last few years, been terminated. The main focus is on current conflicts where reconciliation is assumed as a requirement for the forthcoming (or ongoing) peace processes.

In selecting the cases, 3 criteria will be used:

(1) type of conflict in relation to reconciliation, thus e.g.: a) difficult/complex conflicts where some reconciliation has taken place; b) difficult conflicts where no reconciliation has happened; c) more easy/smaller/less complex conflicts where some reconciliation has taken place and d) same type with no evidence of successful reconciliation.

(2) More or less involvement by third parties (government and non-government); more or less international media focus.

(3) The conflicts should offer good opportunities for studying a variety of cultural and normative dimensions in theory and practise, religious as well as non-religious.

In order to get as broad intellectual and substantial input as possible, the cases should represent a diversity in terms of roots and causes of the conflict, cultures and ethnic groupings.

It is proposed to integrate the following conflict areas into the study: 1) Eastern Europe -the Balkans; 2) the Great Lakes - Rwanda and Burundi; 3) Sierra Leone and/or Liberia; 4) Sri Lanka; 5) the Horn of Africa - Somalia and/or Eritrea/Ethiopia; 6) Eastern and Western Timor; 7) the Caucasus - Chechnya and Georgia, 8) Tibet/China and 9) Vietnam/the United States. A tenth conflict region should be located in Central or South America, e.g. Columbia. Sponsors are invited to emphasize one or more of these or suggest other conflict areas.


D 3. The organisation of the project and its staff

1. A core project team will be leading and coordinatingand take responsibility for the project. It will consist of four experienced TFF associates, namely Christian Hårleman (consultant with military background, Stockholm), Else Hammerich (Center for Conflict-Resolution, Copenhagen) and Evelin Lindner (dr. Oslo University with TFF director Jan Oberg as head of team. (See enclosed CVs).

2. It is suggested that Mr. Ulf Svensson of the Ministry ofForeign Affairs who has been a member of the TFF Board since 1986 promotes the liaison between TFF and the ministry. Liaisons will also be appointed for/by other sponsors, should they so wish.

3. TFF associates around the world (see enclosed leaflet with their names and the foundation's website for details) are brought in where relevant as experts, co-analysts and consultants. TFF Peace Antennas, the group of young scholars and NGO workers will be employed where relevant.

4. Other consultants and experts will be brought in as appropriate from various parts of the world, in particular from the regions included in the study.

5. Secretarial functions at TFF headquarters as well assistants on field trips and local assistant(s) and interpreter(s).


E. Some Expected Results

The overall objectives of the study are to explore the feasibility of introducing reconciliation and forgiveness processes and centres as main or complementary elements in the overall process toward peace-building and normalisation after war. The specific shape this could take would be to establish the type of reconciliation centres - or a network of them - described in the enclosed report. Such centres are not conceptualised as "institutions", but conceived of as more or less mobile centres, flexible sites for research, training and mutual competence-building involving former adversaries with support from the outside.

One question to be analysed and answered is: can indicators be developed on when and where post-war societies are "ripe" for the setting up of such activities? Can forgiveness and reconciliation be promoted and achieved sooner than has often been the case and, if so, what factors are important?

The study will provide the Swedish Government and other sponsors with a research-based analysis that offers the main decision-making dimensions, dilemmas, policy options, criteria and norms useful for developing a policy and strategy in relation to reconciliation, forgiveness and related objectives. It will distinguish between four main strategies:

(i) the establishment of one or more centres in the future and

(ii) the support of the build-up of a global network of initiatives and activities supportive of forgiveness and reconciliation, based on certain defined norms and criteria to be determined through the study;

(iii) a combination of the two

(iv) the indication of where centres may not be feasible at the moment but where other activities would seem more helpful for the promotion of reconciliation.

The study will offer possible answers to questions such as the following:

• What can be learnt from successful and failed reconciliation and forgiveness in recent wars? What can be said about the relationship between the use of force and violence (different types of it) and the likelihood/type/time needed for reconciliation?

• What is reconciliation and forgiveness? Is it possible to measure its progress and, thus, promote it? What are the signs of an ongoing reconciliation process and how can the end state of that process in general and in particular settings be identified and defined?

• To which extent does the type of conflict influence the type of reconciliation? Which are the cultural parameters, and what can be done to promote reconciliation from outside and what must be done from within society?

• What factors and what categories of actors encourage reconciliation? (Focus on gender, age, social strata and status, religion, social cosmology, healing traditions, earlier trauma experiences etc.).

• Which are the binding forces or obstacles and which are the links between former adversaries that promote/hinder reconciliation?

• Is it possible to establish a normative system in the promotion of reconciliation in post-war societies - if so, how should it be established and in which forms? - theoretical modules or more substantial centres)? Is it possible to teach/learn reconciliation and forgiveness, or is it "too private"?

• Which conflict areas are "ripe" for the establishment of some type of reconciliation and forgiveness centre - based upon the rapporteurs' assessment of a number of indicators and the interviews conducted.

• Under what circumstances does the West and non-West have comparative advantages in promoting reconciliation vis-a-vis third parties? Can mandates be defined and, if so, how?

• How are international actors, governmental as well as civil society organisations (CSOs) most likely to make a constructive, respectful impact, what to do when and what not to do, and why? Are present international organisations geared to reconciliation and forgiveness support? If not, can they be adapted/reformed or should the setting up of new organizations be seriously considered?

• What are the likely roles of truth and reconciliation commissions on the one hand and various legal processes on the other hand for the overall reconciliation and forgiveness process, under various circumstances? Whose needs for recognition can be satisfied through commissions, through legal process and through other measures and with what consequences ? Can the two instruments be combined in time and space and, if so, what types of support may most effectively speed up the overall healing of societies?

• Where the establishment of a reconciliation centre is recommended, what special features, what profile and "program" would be necessary to be effective in the particular region?

• Which factors - and which timing problems - must be dealt with in order to implement the centre and/or network idea in practise.

• Who could be the social carriers of the idea?

The final report will be a document that includes an overview, an identification of the problems, the state of the art and a series of recommendations. Background papers will also be included. The report will include reports from each visited location with an analysis based on interviews and other fact-finding. The sub-reports will contain proposals as to resources, interests, profiles, possible and focused activities, training capacity as well as available organisational and/or administrative resources in the area. The report will not deal with how to raise funds for such centres.

It is foreseen that the project will generate significant new insights both in terms of theory and field experiences to result in a book for a wider readership in addition to the project report with the feasibility study. At the appropriate moment, a follow-up grant proposal for such a book will be presented to the sponsors.

© TFF 2001  


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Reconciliation and forgiveness