Traditional Conflict Resolution

PIProf. Dr. Katharina Holzinger
FundingDFG, EXC 16, Anschubfinanzierung
Period05/2009 - 10/2009, abgeschlossen

Sandra Geldmacher




Attempts to deal with conflicts in countries torn by civil war based on western justice are often criticised as they are regarded as incompatible with indigenous methods of conflict resolution. Recently, calls for traditional methods of conflict resolution are getting louder because these methods are supposed to be closer to local values and thus might generate a higher acceptance in the local population. However, to date the actual usefulness of traditional methods of conflict resolution regarding sustainable peace in comparison with “imported” western mechanisms has yet not been verified. How (in)compatible are western and indigenous methods of conflict resolution? Which incompatibilities with national or international law might be created when traditional mechanisms are employed? The project seeks to conduct an intercultural comparison of methods of conflict resolution, taking only those mechanisms into account, that exist alongside the formal judicial system. Furthermore, the specific mechanisms of conflict resolution based on traditional methods of selected countries will studied in detail: Gacaca courts in Rwanda and elements of Ubuntu in the South-African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.