The Work of Reconciliation

Document Type : Original Article


Pennsylvania State University


In the last 60 years, civil war has been by far the most destructive form of violent military conflict. Civil wars break out again when the issues have not been resolved and the factions have not been reconciled. Reconciliation that prevents return to civil war is the most difficult and important political task of our times.
Phenomenological methods can clarify the kinds of allegiance individuals attest to the different collectives: the State, its legislative and juridic institutions, its armed forces. The armed forces in rebellion. Transnational mining and industrial complexes and multinational corporations. Smugglers of weapons. Agents extracting taxes from merchants, rich landowners, and mining companies, from mines and timber companies. Agents soliciting donations from the diaspora. Kidnapping for ransom. Politicians and military officers engaged in war profiteering. Criminal gangs.
Reconciliation will not be possible unless the truth about the injustices that motivate conflict and about the atrocities committed during the conflict is established. What kind of truth can they produce, and what kind of truth is necessary? Does the kind of truth that Truth Commissions publish resolve conflict and affect reconciliation or does it lead to renewed conflict?
A large number of war crimes and common crimes committed under cover of war Phenomenological analysis can clarify the transitional justice and restorative justice that reconciliation may require.


Main Subjects