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Title: Reconciliation in ethnic conflict through identity transformation
Author: Brodie, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis utilises a socio-psychological approach to reconciliation to explore the process of reconciliation between groups divided by intractable ethnic conflict in the Mindanao-Sulu region of the Philippines. It suggests that, in order for reconciliation to advance, group identities, in the form of a specific configuration of societal beliefs held by ethnic groups in such situations, require transformation. Specifically, this study explores the reconciliation process in the absence of formal settlement, shedding light upon how reconciliation develops, the actors involved and the challenges faced in such circumstances. Through the case of Mindanao, this thesis analyses a stage and type of conflict which has hitherto been little studied in relation to reconciliation, and in a region (Southeast Asia) which has also been comparatively neglected. Using data acquired from fieldwork interviews conducted with key stakeholders in Mindanao, analysis of a wide range of documents and a content analysis of both the national and Mindanaobased print media, the extent of identity transformation in line with reconciliation in Filipino society, is explored. The role of societal elites and social institutions in reflecting, disseminating and appealing to conflict-supporting societal beliefs, as well as their role in progressing reconciliation, is assessed. Existing attempts to promote reconciliation initiatives are evaluated. This study argues that reconciliation initiatives undertaken at the pre-settlement stage can have significant influence on both individual and group identities. It also suggests that, whilst there has been substantial progress in transforming conflict-supporting societal beliefs and forging transcendent identities crucial to the process of reconciliation at a Mindanao level, this success has not been replicated to the same degree at the national level. These findings have significance for future policy relating to the conflict and for the theoretical literature on reconciliation. They support initiatives undertaken at the pre-settlement stage and suggest that reconciliation should be considered as consisting of multiple independent, yet intrinsically linked, processes which advance at differing tempos across various levels of society and between stake holders.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available