Conflict metanarratives and peacebuilding

Authored by: Stephen Ryan

Routledge Companion to Peace and Conflict Studies

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138742772
eBook ISBN: 9781315182070
Adobe ISBN:


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Building peace after destructive conflict is never easy. Violence impacts societies in a number of ways. These include militarization, increased ethnocentrism, residential isolation, the enemy image, demonization, a sense of alienation, and economic and political underdevelopment (Ryan, 2007). There are problems of short-term thinking based on political expediency and there is the human tendency to resist complexity and ambiguity. The original conflicts of interest that caused the problem in the first place may not be adequately addressed. There will be hurt, anger, and guilt about past events on the part of both survivors and perpetrators. But whereas the survivors may seek a process of truth recovery, perpetrators might prefer to hide their misdeeds. In such circumstances building a consensus about how to move forward is fraught with difficulties.

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