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Comparative Reconciliation Politics in Rwanda and Burundi

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Comparative Reconciliation Politics in Rwanda and Burundi

Rieder, Philippe (2015) Comparative Reconciliation Politics in Rwanda and Burundi. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis functions as a comparative exercise juxtaposing reconciliation politics in Rwanda and Burundi from a bottom-up perspective. Rwanda and Burundi have been labeled 'twins' before. Both countries have a very similar population structure and history of mass violence. However, their post-conflict processes differ. This fact renders them ideal candidates for comparison. Rwanda's 'maxi-mum approach' is compared to Burundi's 'non-approach' to reconciliation politics on two levels: official and informal. The 'official' level examines intention and politico-economic context from the government's side, the 'informal' level looks at how these policies have been perceived at the grass-roots and if they succeeded in reconciling the population with regard to the key objectives memory, acknowledgement, apology, recognition, and justice.
The thesis analyzes and compares the advantages and disadvantages of both models thoroughly and identifies pitfalls and solutions with regard to breaking the cycle of alternating revenge and domi-nance by re-orienting national reconciliation politics towards the perceptions and insights of the rural population at the grassroots. The thesis concludes that the strong governmental focus on con-trolling the reconciliation discourse in Rwanda and the self-absorption of the political elite in Burundi in politico-economic power struggles are the main obstacles to reconciliation as they risk to margin-alizing and alienating large parts of the population.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Rieder, Philippe
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Humanities
Date:27 April 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Chalk, Frank and Ivaska, Andrew and Stoett, Peter
ID Code:979983
Deposited By: PHILIPPE RIEDER
Deposited On:16 Jul 2015 14:54
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:50
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