The feeling is mutual?: The role of bilateral apology in post-conflict reconciliation
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Whilst political apologies for past wrongdoings are noted as an increasingly common empirical phenomenon, their varying forms and effects remain relatively under-researched within the academic field. In the context of such gaps, this study examines political apologies in the context of post-conflict reconciliation by posing the research question: how do different types of apology affect post-conflict reconciliation? It puts forward the hypothesis that a bilateral apology – in other words, a mutual, reciprocal gesture acknowledging past suffering and injustice – has a greater effect on reconciliation processes than its one-way unilateral equivalent between defined ‘victim’ and ‘perpetrator’. A structured, focused longitudinal comparison of two such types of post-conflict apology, issued by Serbia & Montenegro in 2003, provides tentative support to this hypothesis in linking bilateral gestures with a ‘thicker’ form of reconciliation between two states. In addition to this finding, this study also provides broader reflections on the role of post-conflict apology in general, arguing that it forms just a single, interacting component within wider, ongoing reconciliation processes between former adversaries.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 72 p.
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Social Psychology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294701OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294701DiVA: diva2:931229
Subject / course
Peace and Conflict Studies
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies