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Truth Telling and Peacebuilding: The Role of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Fostering a Human Rights Culture

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Abstract:

There is near unanimity among scholars and practitioners that, in order to move forward, societies coming out of periods of violence must in some way examine, acknowledge, and account for past violence committed by various groups. One mechanism for producing and delivering this truth is a truth commission. Truth commissions have become a near-global phenomenon for delivering transitional justice to individual victims and for providing a common truth to society as a whole. At least twenty-five truth commissions have existed or currently exist in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the Far East. This examines whether truth-telling mechanisms can contribute to sustainable peace, and, if so, how and under what conditions. It does so by examining whether truth telling contributes to the following elements, all of which are deemed to be constitutive of sustainable peace: reconciliation, human rights, gender equity, restorative justice, the rule of law, the mitigation of violence, and the healing of trauma.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

right (163), human (128), trc (122), south (107), africa (90), reconcili (72), cultur (62), state (56), peac (56), recommend (55), truth (54), commiss (49), amnesti (47), institut (45), law (41), violenc (40), one (34), peacebuild (34), polit (34), commit (33), p (33),

Author's Keywords:

South Africa; Reconciliation; Peacebuilding; human rights
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Name: International Studies Association
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http://www.isanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Borer, Tristan. "Truth Telling and Peacebuilding: The Role of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Fostering a Human Rights Culture" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii, Mar 05, 2005 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p71799_index.html>

APA Citation:

Borer, T. A. , 2005-03-05 "Truth Telling and Peacebuilding: The Role of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Fostering a Human Rights Culture" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p71799_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: There is near unanimity among scholars and practitioners that, in order to move forward, societies coming out of periods of violence must in some way examine, acknowledge, and account for past violence committed by various groups. One mechanism for producing and delivering this truth is a truth commission. Truth commissions have become a near-global phenomenon for delivering transitional justice to individual victims and for providing a common truth to society as a whole. At least twenty-five truth commissions have existed or currently exist in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the Far East. This examines whether truth-telling mechanisms can contribute to sustainable peace, and, if so, how and under what conditions. It does so by examining whether truth telling contributes to the following elements, all of which are deemed to be constitutive of sustainable peace: reconciliation, human rights, gender equity, restorative justice, the rule of law, the mitigation of violence, and the healing of trauma.

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Associated Document Available International Studies Association

Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 28
Word count: 10295
Text sample:
Truth Telling and Peacebuilding: The Role of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Fostering a Human Rights Culture1 Tristan Anne Borer Connecticut College Introduction "How successful was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?" Antjie Krog in her journalist's memoir Country of My Skull claims that this is the question she is most often asked. More specifically she notes "the biggest question is whether or not the TRC process achieved reconciliation" (Krog 1998). I would argue that while it has
NJ: Africa World Press 2003. Villa-Vicencio Charles and Erik Doxtader eds. Repairing the Irreparable: Reparations and Reconstruction in South Africa Cape Town South Africa: David Philip Publishers forthcoming. Villa-Vicencio Charles and Wilhelm Verwoerd eds. Looking Back Reaching Forward: Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. Cape Town South Africa: University of Cape Town Press 2000. Wilson Richard. The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Legitimising the Post-Apartheid State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001. WOMANKIND


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