Peace-Building in Post-Conflict Societies

Justice and Imagination: Building Peace in Post-Conflict Societies

How can societies build lasting peace when they emerge from violent internal conflicts facing widespread trauma and loss of life, a disintegration of the social fabric, weakened state institutions, and broken economic structures? From Syria to Guatemala, countries around the world wrestle with this question. The conference brings together leading authorities from around the world to analyze which processes of transitional justice, forms of reconciliation and memory and conditions for economic and social policies increase the effectiveness of peace building and reconstruction in post-conflict environment.


Friday, February 28, 2014

8 pm Keynote Address:

Justice and Peace: Can We Have Both?

Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

8:30 am – 10:15 am           Transitional Justice

Moderator: Andy Reiter, Assistant Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke College


How do we measure and assess the effectiveness of transitional justice?
Kathryn Sikkink, Ryan Family Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (paper draft)

Determinants of Post-Communist Transitional Justice: An Overview
Lavinia Stan, Director, Center for Post-Communist Studies, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada (paper draft)

Why is there a backlash against the International Criminal Court and does it matter?
Leslie Vinjamuri, Associate Professor and co-director of the Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice, SOAS, University of London

10:15 am – 10:45 am          Coffee Break

10:45 am – 12:30 pm          Memory and Reconciliation

Moderator: Karen Remmler, Director of the Five College Women’s Research Center, Professor of German Studies, Professor of German Studies


Principles of reconciliation and some applications in Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo (DRC)
Ervin Staub, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst (paper draft)

Violence, Memory and the Politics of Reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Malathi de Alwis, ’85, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Contested Politics, Contested Narratives: The Struggle over Historical Memory in the Middle East
Judy Barsalou, President, Elhibri Foundation, Washington, D.C.  (paper draft)

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm             Social and Economic Policies for Lasting Peace

Moderator: Eva Paus, Professor of Economics, Mount Holyoke College


Building Peace or Fueling Conflict? International Assistance to War-torn Societies.
James Boyce, Professor, Department of Economics; Director, Program on Development, Peacebuilding, and the Environment, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Reconstruction Zones as a Driver for Investment, Trade, Employment, Food and Human Security
Graciana del Castillo, Former Senior Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor of Economics, Columbia University (paper draft)

Winning hearts and minds?: Aid, reconstruction and counter insurgency in Afghanistan
Jonathan Goodhand, Professor of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London (paper draft)