The International Association for Reconciliation Studies establishment took place on August 10th. Our aims are in building bridges and promoting dialogue across different approached to reconciliation to verify and further develop the understanding of reconciliation, explore the variability and commonality in reconciliation processes, and to endorse varied approaches to reconciliation. It recognizes that reconciliation processes play a major role in building long-lasting peace within and across boundaries, restoring and transforming relationships in the aftermath of conflict, and disrupting cycles of violence. The members of the IARS share a vision that reconciliation is much more than a cessation of violence and hostilities; it requires the participation of the parties involved in the conflict to come together to redefine their relationship and create an environment where cooperation and peaceful coexistence are the operative norms within society.
The International Association for Reconciliation Studies concentrates on reconciliation in divided societies and between nations accruing on an interpersonal, intergroup, and international levels and promotes complex, theory-based, indigenous, and faith-based approaches that address justice, reparations, mercy, apology, forgiveness, and shared identity. To advance the design and implementation of reconciliation processes, the IARS searches for various social conditions for the imagination and achievement of reconciliation, advancing theory and bridging it with practice.
We also expect that the International Association for Reconciliation Studies will help understand and improve international relations by going beyond the conventionally fundamental factors of politics, power, interest and international law toward underlining the role of human’s memories, emotions, values, and morality in mobilizing people for conflicts or reconciliations, in strengthening civilian networks to sustain human rights, and in contributing to mutual respect between nations in the age of globalization and democratization.
Our hope that our collective approach to reconciliation studies will create a basis for cooperative cultural and educational policy toward a common citizenship in the globe, which would be the next immediate step for a shared approach to such global issues, such as environment, infectious disease, and poverty.