A review of:

Amnesty after Atrocity? Healing Nations after Genocide and War Crimes. By Helena Cobban. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007.


Reconciliation in Divided Societies: Finding Common Ground. By Erin Daly and Jeremy Sarkin. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.

Healing is widely seen as an essential component of socio-political reconciliation, helping to promote a more peaceable future after violent conflict. At the same time, however, little is known about what exactly “healing” means to traumatized people and whether particular reconciliation efforts do indeed constitute healing. Instead, social healing is described usually in metaphorical terms, compared to the way an individual body heals, for example. This biomedical language is explored and connected to medical ethics as a way to broach these difficult issues and come to a more systematic understanding of healing processes.

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