About the project
“Pathways of Reconciliation” is an interdisciplinary research project focusing on the range of meanings of reconciliation in different societies and how they are employed by different actors to respond to the legacies of violence, oppression, and atrocities. The project examines the conditions and dynamics that contribute to or hinder post-conflict reconciliation initiatives in different social, political and cultural contexts.
The project is carried out by Dr Noga Glucksam at the American International University in London, Richmond. Together with a team of interns, we searched for reconciliation initiatives from around the world and organized basic data on their framework, purpose, activities, and relationships with authorities in their context. The work on the dataset is ongoing, and we plan to continue to grow it significantly over the next two years.
Based on the initial input values, we send surveys to organizations to collect more in-depth information about their purpose, conceptual view, scale and nature of activities, feedback collection and more. The data help us analyze where each initiative best fits in the typology, and to learn more about their thought process in both the planning and execution of the initiative, as well as collect some initial reflections on outreach and impact. We also hold interviews with some initiatives, to develop a greater understanding of the nuances of their context and approach.
The project is based on a deep belief and commitment to collaboration and teamwork. We invite scholars to get in touch if interested in accessing the data, and collaborate on case studies, theoretical work and more.
The dataset is the cornerstone of the research, and a major divergence from the traditional small-N research common in the field. The project logs all types of organizations and initiatives that include a direct reference in their mission towards reconciliation. Reconciliation initiatives come in many shapes and sizes, so the project currently focuses on non-governmental organizations whose work range in scope, outreach independence and practical approach.
Reconciliation means different things to different people. It is a common 'buzzword' in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, social justice and other contexts, and seem to carry a lot of weight and deliver big promises. Yet, the concept, and activities related to it, often invoked a vast range of meanings and expectations, resulting in significant confusion and ambiguity, sometimes directly undermining the ability of initiatives to achieve their goals, and undermining the relevance of academic research that relies on broad and vague definitions.
The framework of the research develops a typology of reconciliation, distinguished based on purpose, structure, relationship with political structure and conception of the conflict or grievance it responds to. In addition to creating more conceptual clarity, and develop more nuanced hypotheses about reconciliation, the typology also encourages more inter-disciplinary examination of processes related to reconciliation and helps to emancipate the topic from being a marginal sub-issue with fields and into a central and leading issue in contemporary politics, society and culture.