ISSJ - N° 189 - International Forum on the Social Science-Policy Nexus/Reshaping identities in post-conflict societies: ex-combattants, heroes and exiles

September 2006

The first dossier of this issue reports on the work of the International Forum on the Social Science – Policy Nexus (IFSP), which took place in Argentina and Uruguay in February 2006. The event was designed to break new ground in connecting social science research to policy by offering an innovative space for a new kind of dialogue, bringing together social science and policy in the search for a common language and shared terms of engagement. Inevitably, it served largely to take stock of the obstacles, and is best seen as the starting point of a process that will be taken forward by a range of networks and activities – many not yet identified – that UNESCO will be supporting and facilitating in the future.

The second dossier (editorial adviser : Lætitia Bucaille) addresses the identity consequences of the conflicts and wars that shake up political communities, sometimes cause them to break up, and result in or accentuate profound social transformations. Once resolved, or suspended, a conflict remains an essential political issue, with reference to which individuals invent post-war narratives that describe the reconstruction processes at work within their society. The articles in the dossier, which cover South Africa, Northern Ireland, El Salvador, Bosnia-Herzegovina, post-colonial France and Rwanda, underline how diverse such identity dynamics are and the crucial role within them of ex-combatants, exiles and inevitably ambiguous heroes.

Back to top