From Collective Victimhood to Social Reconciliation: Outlining a Conceptual Framework

  • Daniel Bar-Tal
  • Sabina Cehajic-Clancy
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 17)


In this introductory chapter, the authors review existing work and propose a general conceptual framework to understand the development of collective memories and narratives related to experiences of victimisation in the former Yugoslavia since the early 1990s. They address the following issues. What specific beliefs about collective victimisation and collective guilt are developing across different communities? What are their psychological, social and political functions? Are collective memories largely shared within and disputed between ethno-national groups, or are there other important social divides that structure remembrance of the conflict? To what extent are these systems of beliefs obstacles for reconciliation, social reconstruction and prevention of future cycles of violence? What elements might, on the contrary, facilitate the development of empathy across group boundaries or the acknowledgement of common values and norms? What policies are likely to make a difference in directing collective memories and narratives in the sense of either an ethos of conflict or an ethos of peace? The chapter presents the state of the art of research in this area and provides a conceptual grid to locate the relevance of the empirical contributions presented in the subsequent chapters of this section.


Former Yugoslavia War Victim Social reconstruction Collective memory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Sarajevo School of Science and TechnologySarajevoBosnia-Herzegovina

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