Victims as moral beacons of humanitarianism in post-conflict societies.
Brewer, John D.
Hayes, Bernadette C.
Wijesinghe, Shirley Lal
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BREWER, J.D., HAYES, B.C., DUDGEON, K., MUELLER-HIRTH, N., TEENEY, F. and WIJESINGHE, S.-L. 2016. Victims as moral beacons of humanitarianism in post-conflict societies. International social science journal [online], 65(215-216), pages 37-47. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/issj.12075
This paper reports on interview data amongst victims of conflict and organised violence. Despite their victimhood, they evince a level of forgivingness, civility and tolerance that constructs in the very acts of atrocity that portend its demise, a form of humanitarianism which enables victims to be moral beacons in post-conflict societies that otherwise are largely devoid of any a moral or sacred canopy. Data cover victims in Sri Lanka, South Africa and Northern Ireland. The theoretical contribution of the paper is to proffer a view that humanitarianism in societies emerging out of conflict is best understood as a social practice constituted by victims? practices for tolerance and civility. This makes humanitarianism pro-social, having the potential to affect social consciousness and social understandings in post-conflict societies and to assist in the remaking of society after conflict.