Worldview Diversity Within South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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


Recognising South Africa is an amalgam of diverse cultures, Chapter 4 deconstructs the idealised forms of a Western liberal, nationalist and interconnected worldview (as exemplified within the African philosophy of ubuntu) that intertwine to shape South African society. Understanding that worldviews are not as fixed as such a depiction might suggest, the aim is to develop a more nuanced understanding of these core strands of worldview and understand how they weave together, overlap and contradict each other simultaneously. This analysis is used to demonstrate how different processes of meaning-making led to competing interpretations of South Africa’s truth recovery process. It shows how key concepts such as reconciliation, accountability and nation-building can be interpreted differently highlighting the inherent assumptions worldview brings to how peace-building is approached.


Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Western worldview Interconnected worldview Ubuntu Transitional justice 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cathy Bollaert
    • 1
  1. 1.Ulster UniversityBelfastUK

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