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The feeling is mutual?: The role of bilateral apology in post-conflict reconciliation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

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.
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Social Psychology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294701OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294701DiVA: diva2:931229
Subject / course
Peace and Conflict Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-05-26 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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