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In a postconflict setting, one of the most important and pressing questions that arises is how to reckon with the crimes and injustices of the past in a way that will help society rebuild. This question is the subject of a growing area of practice and study called transitional justice. Various approaches to transitional justice include criminal trials, truth commissions, reparations, apologies, lustration (the purging of certain officials from positions of power), memorialization, and amnesties. Transitional justice measures most often cite reconciliation as their central goal.

Reconciliation is a matter of learning how former enemies, or those bitterly divided, can come to live together peaceably. It is probably best understood as a process rather than a state to be arrived at. In part, this is ...

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