DTA

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Tesi etd-04272021-122638

Type of thesis
Master univ. I liv.
Author
FREDDI, ANTONIO
URN
etd-04272021-122638
Title
More Forgetting and Less Elaboration of the Past in Conflict Resolution
Structure
Istituto di Diritto, Politica e Sviluppo
Course
Corsi Alta Formazione - MASTER IN HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Committee
relatore Prof. MARZANO, ARTURO
Presidente Prof. SOMMARIO, EMANUELE GIUSEPPE
Keywords
  • Conflict resolution
  • Elaboration of Memory
  • Oblivion.
  • Reconciliation
Exam session start date
14/05/2021;
Availability
parziale
Abstract
One of the recurring mantras in conflict resolution and, most of all, reconciliation processes is the importance of the elaboration of memories. A lot of efforts and discourses are favoring this kind of elaboration, but, surprisingly, it does not look like enough critical thinking is exerted on the confidence in its positivity.<br>This dissertation argues that focusing on the elaboration of the past and insisting on remembering and collective memories are not necessarily vital steps to achieve a peaceful coexistence after a conflict nor to prevent its outbreak. On the contrary, such endeavors have been and can be unfair, counterproductive, and dangerous. Moreover, oblivion or partial forgetfulness might be preferable options. The following questions are addressed to reason out these ideas: why is the elaboration of memory so much considered? Can the interpretation of tragic memories teach communities how to stop or avoid a conflict? What are the defects and dangers connected with the elaboration of the past in post-conflict situations? Can it be a source of conflicts and divisions? May oblivion or neglect be alternatives to this elaboration? What about thinking of the future, instead of the past? <br>No space is given here to the positive effects of memory: there are indeed, but many pages have already been dedicated to them elsewhere.<br>Despite being mainly theoretical and based on research through a variety of literature sources, this study takes into consideration specific cases of communities involved in post-conflict processes, such as Lebanon, former Yugoslavia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, Spain, Germany, and France. A role is also played by informal conversations conducted with experts or people in general from Lebanon, Syria, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Spain and Germany during the last five years.<br>This work highlights theoretical limits, sources of ineffectiveness, iniquity and inequity existing in the elaboration of tragic memories: it can be misused, it might be partial and discriminatory, and it may worsen psychological health of individuals. Unfortunately, the elaboration of memory of conflicts may be even more dangerous than so, as it heightens disagreements and may directly contribute to the begin or resumption of a conflict. Not to mention the instances when certain reconstructions of the past are deliberately used by groups to incite to resentment and legitimise the ignition or reopening of clashes.<br>The choice of oblivion or forgetfulness, instead, is supported by some of the reasons against the excess of elaboration of memory: in fact, oblivion may avoid those inadequate, unfair, conflictual, inflammatory, instrumental, and traumatizing situations. Besides, elaboration of memory and oblivion are here shown as not being the two horns of a morality versus pragmaticism dilemma, because the moral value of peace might deserve priority over justice. <br>Finally, it is suggested that instead of trying the difficult task of achieving a common interpretation over a past that has been divisive, it could be more effective and productive for peace to design social projects with a look towards the future.
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