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Trauma and Transitional Justice in divided Societies

Judy Barsalou, United States Institute of Peace, 2005

The international community now recognizes that accounting for what happened during the conflict, seeking justice for those who were wronged, and promoting peaceful reconciliation among combatants and their broader societies are among the most important needs of countries emerging from violent conflict. While much has been written about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—the psychological distress that individuals may develop following exposure to an upsetting event outside the range of normal human experience—the role that trauma plays in these processes on the broader societal level is less well understod.

Updated January 19, 2009.

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