Gerald Caplan


Countries emerging from the dark night of conflict and oppression into the light of a new dawn face an almost limitless number of seemingly intractable problems. Think of Cambodia after the Khmer, South Africa after apartheid, Rwanda after the geno- cide. The economy, unemployment, infrastructure, governance, public service, school- ing, health care, reconciliation, justice, trauma—all need to be dealt with, and all simultaneously. Yet over the last two decades, of all these daunting challenges it has been issues related to post-conflict justice and reconciliation that have received most public attention. An entire industry of professionals and institutions who claim to be expert in guiding such societies in transition to new levels of justice and har- monious living has grown up in response to this. In tandem, a related academic dis- cipline of scholars studying these experiments and evaluating them has sprung up.