© 2019

Reconciliation and Building a Sustainable Peace

Competing Worldviews in South Africa and Beyond


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)

About this book


This book explores how competing worldviews impact on intergroup relations and building a sustainable peace in culturally diverse societies. It raises the question of what happens in a culturally diverse society when competing values and ways of interpreting reality collide and what this means for peace-building and the goal of reconciliation. Moreover, it provides a valuable and needed contribution to how peace-building interventions can become more sustainable if tied into local values and embedded in a society’s system of meaning-making. The book engages with questions relating to the extent transitional policies speak to universal values and individualist societies and the implications this might have for how they are implemented in collective societies with different values and forms of social organisation. It raises the question of cultural equality and transformation and whether or not this is something that needs to be addressed within peace-building theory. It argues that inculcating worldview into peace-building theory and practice is a vital part of restoring dignity and promoting healing among victims and formerly oppressed groups. This book, therefore, makes an important contribution to what is at best a partially researched topic by providing a deeper understanding of how identity and culture intersect with peace-building when seeking to build a sustainable peace. 


divided societies transitional justice conflict criminology peace building south africa northern ireland culture racism inequality oppression

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Ulster UniversityBelfastUK

About the authors

Cathy Bollaert is an independent researcher and consultant with a PhD from the Transitional Justice Institute and INCORE at Ulster University. Selected as a Rotary World Peace Fellow, she also holds an MA in African Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Bradford and an MA in Theology from Ghana. She is also an adjunct lecturer in peace and reconciliation studies at Queen's University Belfast.  

Bibliographic information


“A fascinating and well-researched book that shows that a failure to understand the worldview of the ‘other’ hardens intergroup boundaries, as such the findings are relevant to myriad of contexts across the globe.” (Brandon Hamber, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, Ulster University, UK)