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“We Cannot Forget” How Then Shall We Remember?: An empirical study of the impact of post-conflict memorialisation on individual healing in Cambodia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Memorialisation has become a mainstream feature of transitional justice in recent decades; one that is oft assumed to contribute to healing in post-conflict societies. While a relationship between the two phenomena arguably exists, little research has been carried out to identify causal mechanisms or explain why some forms of memorialisation lead to enhanced levels of healing while others do not. By combining the fields of political psychology, memory studies and peace and conflict research, this study develops a theoretical framework to better evaluate the impact of memorialisation on individual healing. A simple typology of passive and active memorialisation is developed, from which I argue that initiatives that are more active in nature will lead to greater levels of individual healing. The hypothesis is empirically tested through in-depth interviews conducted with survivors of the Cambodian genocide who have engaged in memorialisation efforts. The main findings support the hypothesis, revealing that passive initiatives possess limited healing benefits and can only be expected to contribute to low-levels of recovery. In contrast, active memorialisation is found to host a greater range of healing mechanisms, as they engage individuals socially and psychologically and thereby contribute to deeper healing needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
memorialisation; healing; post-conflict; transitional justice; Cambodia
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296159OAI: diva2:936442
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-14 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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