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Connecting Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation

Elisabeth Porter
Connecting Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation
ISBN: 978-1-62637-235-1
ISBN: 978-1-62637-236-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-530-7
2015/245 pages/LC: 2015000925
Also of interest:  Why Peace Processes Fail: Negotiating Insecurity After Civil War  by Jasmine-Kim Westendorf
"Porter creates space for theorists, researchers, and practitioners as well as students, grassroots activists, and organizations to see the possibilities and promise of peace and justice in post-conflict zones afresh.... [She] weaves scholarship and personal experiences of victim-survivors in a way that illumines both theory and the particular, situational experience regarding the grave consequences of war and violence.... Porter's multidisciplinary, sound scholarly presentation of research and narratives is humanizing, regardless of one’s position or social location."—Karen D. Crozier, Peace Research: The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies

"An overdue and thoughtful articulation of the complex interrelationship [among] peace, working for justice, and building postconflict reconciliation.... As an undergraduate text in peace and conflict studies, this book serves an important purpose."—Jeremy A. Rinker, Peace & Change

"A well-written and interesting book that takes the reader through a wide literature on peace, justice, and reconciliation and ties these themes together in a compelling way."—Stephen Crowley, Oberlin College

"Porter puts forward important and often complex topics in a straightforward and accessible way.... This book makes a major contribution to the IR literature in general, as well as to discussions of  postconflict transformation, DDR and its challenges, and human, including feminist, security."—Joyce P. Kaufman, Whittier College


Can postconflict states achieve both peace and justice as they deal with a traumatic past? What role does reconciliation play in healing wounds, building trust, and rectifying injustices? This provocative book, incorporating the frameworks of both peace/conflict studies and transitional justice, explores the core challenges that war-torn states confront once the violence has ended.

The book is organized around a series of questions, each one the subject of a chapter, with each chapter presenting a wide range of practical examples and case studies. The author also stakes out a position on each question, encouraging readers to evaluate and respond to ideas, practices, and strategies. Narratives are a notable feature of the work, with the human consequences of war and peace highlighted throughout.


Elisabeth Porter is professor of politics and international relations at the University of South Australia. Her recent publications include Peace and Security: Implications for Women and Peacebuilding: Women in International Perspective.


  • Connecting Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation.
  • Why Are War Narratives Important?
  • How Does War Damage Humanity?
  • Do Truth Commissions Work?
  • Can Trust Be Built in Divided Societies?
  • What Can Apology and Forgiveness Achieve?
  • Can Compassion Be Practiced in Postconflict Contexts?
  • What Happens in Reconciliation?
  • Conclusion.