“Ah lef ma case fo God”: Faith and agency in Sierra Leone's postwar reconciliation
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Number of pages
SourcePeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 18, 2, (2012), pp. 131-143
Article / Letter to editor
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Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology
SubjectDistributional Conflicts in a Globalizing World: Consequences for State-Market-Civil Society Arrangements
This article describes a qualitative ethnographic analysis of local experiences of truth-telling performances within Sierra Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Whereas proponents of truth commissions claim that such processes promote postwar reconciliation, this study found that local religious belief impeded such effects. While belief did enhance the local willingness to reconcile, in tandem with postwar insecurity, it also promoted a reliance on secondary control mechanisms wherein individuals subjugated their own agency in reconciliation to the power of God. Within this context, the man-made processes of truth-telling were experienced by local people as redundant at best and provocative at worst.
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