In recent decades, religious figures from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Pope John Paul II to theologians and faith-motivated political activists worldwide have promoted the concept of reconciliation as a way to help people and societies emerge from civil war, genocide, and dictatorship. The idea has shaped the politics of countries from South Africa and Guatemala to Timor-Leste and Iraq. 

Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies, directs a research program that explores reconciliation as a concept of justice and peace and as a promising tool of peacebuilding. The program’s first major effort is a joint scholarly project with Jennifer Llewellyn, associate professor at Dalhousie University Law School, to develop restorative justice and reconciliation as concepts of peacebuilding and to explore their meaning for practices like forgiveness, amnesty, truth telling, and reparations.