European Center for Reconciliation Research

There is a major discrepancy between the eminent significance of recent post-conflict reconciliation between such countries as Germany, France, Israel, Poland and other European countries on the one side and the scientific identification and validation of best practices of reconciliation (BPR). Our various studies have concluded that reconciliation has a major impact on the development of societal and political relationships between conflicting groups and States. Reconciliation helps to prevent future violent conflicts and fosters trust and cooperation, thus, benefiting the relationship on the individual-psychological and the social, cultural and the economic level. While politicians, NGOs, and other civil society actors are aware of the potential reconciliation has to overcome enmity and improve relations on a sustained basis, thorough and wide-spread research is still needed to validate reconciliation practices and make the research results accessible to the world at large.

The ECRR is a network of excellent international scientists concerned with reconciliation strategies. The aim is to build an internationally spreading and cooperating scientific center for conflict management, reconciliation strategies and remembrance cultures for the Saale-region and for Germany as a whole. Possible options for an ECRR office, besides Jena, are Halle, Berlin, or Brussels, among others. The International Workshop "Conflict Resolution, Remembrance and Justice" with the International Max Planck Research School on Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment of the Halle University (Prof. Ralph Buchenhorst; Cultural Anthropology) and JCRS (Prof. Martin Leiner) on the 16.-18.07.2014 has been the first of its kind dealing with inner-German reconciliation. The JCRS states that it has begun work along with George Mason University and Seoul National University to jointly develop a knowledge management data base covering worldwide reconciliation efforts. The center's skills and responsibilities are devided equally between the universities of Halle and Jena with the JCRS. It is furthermore supported by the following institutions (alphabetical order of the professors):

Core Group

Ralph Buchenhorst
      Prof. Ralph Buchenhorst

Cultural Anthropology
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg

Corinne Defrance drinnen klein

  Prof. Corinne Defrance

Contemporary History
University Paris III (Sorbonne)



Lily Gardner Feldman     

Prof. Lily Gardner-Feldman

Political Science




  Dr. Vladimir Handl

International Relations
Charles-University Prague


+420 251 108 214+420 251 108 21
+420 251 108 214+420 251 108 214
hein_werner      Werner Hein

Mayer Brown University
Washington DC

+1 202 263 3248

+1 202 263 3248+1 202 263 3248
+1 202 263 3248+1 202 263 3248
Karina Korostelina       

Prof. Karina Korostelina

Social Psychology
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution


Martin Leiner

Prof. Martin Leiner

Systematic Theology and Ethics
Faculty of Theology


+48-71-375 95 01+48-71-375 95 01
Krystof Ruchniewicz
    Prof. Krystof Ruchniewicz

University of Wroclaw

+48-71-375 95 01


•    Beyers Naudé Zentrum, Stellenbosch (RSA);
•    Trinity College, Dublin
•    Program Reconciliation, Coventry University
•    Program Politics and Religion, Groningen
•    Europa-University Flensburg (Prof. Wüstenberg)
•    La Sapienza University, Rome (Prof. Giovanna Leone)
•    CDRSEE, Thessaloniki
•    Ethics Center of Zürich University (Dr. Christine Schliesser)
•    Peace Studies, Innsbruck University
•    Course "Reconciliation Studies"; - Conflict Resolution Studies, Ben Gurion University Beer Sheba, Israel
•    Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions, Doshisha University, Japan
•    Myanmar Peace Institute, Yangoon

The ECRR will be an international consortium that shall be open to researchers and institutions worldwide, assuming they are willing and able to contribute to the research goals in a significant way.
Already now, the Core Group members individually are connected to a number of reconciliation researchers and universities around the World which could be the first candidates for membership in the consortium.

Key issues

•    Which reconciliation practices have worked in which context?
•    Which practices have not worked and why not?
•    How can reconciliation practices be improved?
•    Which practices can be recommended in an actual situation?

While researchers around the world already work together on an ad hoc basis on individual reconciliation methods, the necessary systematic, coordinated, and concentrated examination and validation of reconciliation practices re-quire an organized structure of international cooperation such as that of an international consortium.
Such consortium would also help gain acceptance by political leaders of reconciliation methods as a valuable tool for the conduct of international relations, a tool that political elites often ignore or unaware of.

•    Apologies
•    (Youth) encounter programs
•    Common school book projects
•    Common film, medias, arts productions enhancing peace and under-standing
•    Reconciliation through events in sport and culture
•    Commemorations, Memorials
•    Historical commissions
•    Symbolic walks, pilgrimages
•    Truth and Reconciliation commissions
•    Voluntary work, voluntary acts of reparation
•    Help in situations of natural disasters
•    City twinning

Declaration of intent