CfP: Reconciliation After War (Crimes): Historical Perspectives

Interdisciplinary workshop, King’s College London, 30 November – 1 December 2017.

Reconciliation is often cited as a key objective in the aftermath of violent conflict, where goals of peace, justice and reconciliation are seen as not only complementary but mutually reinforcing. But it is often unclear what, precisely, is meant by reconciliation, how, exactly, different activities and processes might foster reconciliation, and at what level (individual, community, group, state, inter-state). Moreover, whilst there has been attention to reconciliation internationally in the contemporary era and much discussion about the relationship between processes of transitional justice and reconciliation in contemporary contexts, little is known or written about how reconciliation has been practised (or not) in the past. Has reconciliation ever truly been achieved, or is reconciliation better understood as a trajectory to which there is no ‘end-state’? This workshop will bring together historians and others from different disciplines to explore the concept and practice of reconciliation in different periods in the past and in different cultural, geographical and historical contexts to explore, inter alia, these questions:


  • How has reconciliation been conceptualised and practised across time and space – in different regions of the world and throughout history?
  • What factors have affected the success or failure of attempts to achieve post-conflict reconciliation?
  • How have parties addressed issues of accountability, reparation, punishment, forgiveness, mercy, repentance and grace?
  • How has reconciliation been resisted? Where and by whom?


We invite contributions that address these themes from a wide variety of perspectives, and historical eras – ranging from the English and American Civil Wars to more contemporary histories drawing on twentieth century experience around the globe. We welcome submissions from artists, practitioners, PhD students, early career researchers and established scholars. We anticipate publishing those papers selected for the workshop in an edited volume/journal special edition.


Please send your paper proposal to Henry Redwood ( by 31 May 2017, including:

  • Name, affiliation and contact email.
  • Title and 250-word abstract
  • A brief biographical note


This workshop is part of an AHRC-funded project, Art and Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community, a major collaborative initiative involving an inter-disciplinary team of investigators at King’s College London, the London School of Economics and The University of the Arts in London. The research is funded under the Conflict Theme of the Partnership for Conflict Crime and Security Research (PaCCS), an initiative of Research Councils UK, and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). For more information, contact or see

Art & Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community

Our latest project, ‘Art and Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community’ is an innovative collaboration between King’s College London, the London School of Economics and the University of the Arts in London that aims to improve our understanding of a major current and future global security challenge.

This inter-disciplinary project combines history, conflict resolution methodologies, art and creative practice, and both qualitative and quantitative social sciences. The expert team of investigators include Dr Rachel Kerr and Professor James Gow of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, Dr Denisa Kostovicova of the Department of Government, London School of Economics, and Dr Paul Lowe of the London College of Communication, University of the Arts in London. In addition, the project has its own Artist-in-residence, Dr Milena Michalski, and will work closely with NGO project partners in the Western Balkans to shape its design, production and delivery.

The research is funded through the Large Grant scheme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under the Conflict Theme of the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS) and through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

For more information, contact: @rachelclarekerr