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Extra info for Conflict Transformation and Social Change in Uganda: Remembering after Violence
Moreover, both conflict resolution and conflict settlement are based on the assumption that facts and values can be separated from each other. This is not necessarily the case outside Western mindsets where agency is less understood as autonomous and rational. As a result, terminating violent conflicts is not simply a matter of changing perceptions, attitudes and behaviours, but it is situated within wider social structures or cosmologies including moral, religious and ideological aspects. Norms and values play an important role for the kind of ending that it envisaged.
Against the backdrop of limited resources and manpower to fully administer the conquered territory, many colonial administrations opted for a ‘divide and rule’ policy according to which they selected one part of a society, elevated its status and used it to govern the rest of the polity. As a result, this so-called strategy of indirect rule left deep cleavages between privileged and suppressed sections of the population that – in many cases – have not been overcome to date. In the post-independence period, these cleavages often formed the basis of party politics and political alliances, firmly establishing the divisions in the political structure of the societies.
While the book is primarily concerned with the analysis of conflict transformation the final chapter opens up the scope through comparing different instruments of dealing with the past of a violent conflict in order to redress the antagonistic relationships between the parties to the conflict and to lead to a more sustainable peace. Transitional justice, reconciliation initiatives and unification policies are all vehicles to contribute to social change after the experience of violence. However, they all follow different objectives and strategies, and have different impacts on the relationship between the parties, so that their application or combination has to be carefully considered.