About this book
It is a momentous day for a nation when war is over or a brutal regime ends. For victims and survivors of political atrocities, it is also a time to process trauma, to anticipate the future, to be heard—and to be healed.
Transforming Societies after Political Violence offers a template for those tasked with providing truth, justice, reconciliation, and healing. This interdisciplinary study identifies complex relationships between recovery from political violence and the psychological processes that accompany widespread social change, showing how these can be integrated to strengthen both individual and society. Author Brandon Hamber draws on his extensive experience in South Africa and comparative examples from elsewhere to examine the centrality of mental health issues in transitional justice, and the social, cultural, and identity issues involved in meeting the needs of victims. In discussing reparations (what the author terms "repairing the irreparable"), the power of ambivalence, and especially concepts of closure, he eloquently sets out professionals’ roles in helping survivors move beyond the toxic past without covering it up or becoming mired in it.
Among the critical areas covered:
- The vital groundwork that must be made before reconciliation can occur.
- Creating context-driven approaches to political and social trauma.
- Assessing truth, documenting the past, and avoiding re-traumatization.
- The role of mental health professionals in truth commission processes.
- Survivors as agents for justice, from civic participation to giving public witness.
- Reparations—symbolic meaning, national value, personal benefits.
- Promoting reconciliation and preventing further violence.
A work that holds profound insight into the meaning of "doing justice," Transforming Transitional Societies is required reading for social and peace psychologists, as well as students and researchers of conflict and peace studies, transitional justice, and intergroup and international relations.
- Book Title Transforming Societies after Political Violence
- Book Subtitle Truth, Reconciliation, and Mental Health
- Series Title Peace Psychology Book Series
- Series Abbreviated Title Peace Psychology Book Series
- DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-89427-0
- Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 2009
- Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
- eBook Packages Behavioral Science Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)
- Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-89426-3
- Softcover ISBN 978-1-4419-2793-4
- eBook ISBN 978-0-387-89427-0
- Edition Number 1
- Number of Pages VIII, 249
- Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
Cross Cultural Psychology
- Buy this book on publisher's site
From the reviews:
"Hamber brings an acute clinical sensibility and sophisticated research mind to a complex problem: state handling of reconciliation after a catastrophic upheaval. … his main focus in this book is the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process. … a must read for any psychologist working with trauma survivors, especially postconflict trauma survivors. It calls upon a rich literature–from psychoanalysis … to trial transcripts of commissions; it integrates all these sources to provide a truly unique contribution to the psychology of trauma." (Don Dutton, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 54 (47/3), November, 2009)