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Title: Beyond dichotomies : the quest for justice and reconciliation and the politics of national identity building in post-genocide Rwanda
Author: Sasaki, Kazuyuki
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 3602
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2009
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Justice and reconciliation are both highly complex concepts that are often described as incompatible alternatives in the aftermath of violent conflicts, despite the fact that both are fundamental to peacebuilding in societies divided by the legacies of political violence, oppression and exclusion. This thesis examines the relationship between justice and reconciliation, pursued as essential ingredients of peacebuilding. After advancing an inclusive working conceptual framework in which seemingly competing conceptions regarding justice and reconciliation are reconceived to work compatibly for building peace, the thesis presents the results of an in-depth case study of Rwanda's post-genocide justice and reconciliation endeavour. The thesis focuses on Rwanda's justice and reconciliation efforts and their relationship to the ongoing challenge of reformulating Rwandans' social identities. A field research conducted for this study revealed that issues of victimhood, justice and reconciliation were highly contested among individuals and groups with varied experiences of the country's violent history. Resolving these conflicting narratives so that each Rwandan's narrative/identity is dissociated from the negation of the other's victimhood emerged as a paramount challenge in Rwanda's quest for justice and reconciliation. Rwanda's approach to justice and reconciliation can be seen as an innovative both/and approach that seeks to overcome dichotomous thinking by addressing various justice and reconciliation concerns in compatible ways. However, by limiting its efforts to the issues that arose from crimes committed under the former regimes, the justice and reconciliation endeavour of the Rwandan government fails to reconcile people's conflicting narratives of victimhood, which will be essential to transform the existing racialised and politicised ethnic identities of Rwandan people.
Supervisor: Pankhurst, Donna T. Sponsor: Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Conflict transformation ; Peace-building ; Reconciliation ; Restorative justice ; Retributive justice ; Rwanda-Ethnic relations ; Rwanda-Politics and government