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Preventing violence and generating humane values: Healing and reconciliation in Rwanda

  • Ervin Staub

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** The work in Rwanda that is referred to in this article was conducted in collaboration with Dr Laurie Anne Pearlman, a clinical psychologist and trauma specialist, in collaboration with Rwandan individuals and organizations, especially the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission of Rwanda, and with the help of both U.S. and Rwandan assistants. It has been supported by the John Templeton Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Dart Foundation, the U.S. Aid for International Development and a private donor.

1 E. Staub et at, Healing, Forgiving and Reconciliation: An Intervention and its Experimental Evaluation in Rwanda, forthcoming (on file with the author); Staub, E., Pearlman, L. and Miller, V., “Healing the roots of genocide in Rwanda”, Peace Review, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2003, pp. 287294.

2 Staub, E. and Pearlman, L., “Healing, reconciliation and forgiving after genocide and other collective violence”, in Helmick, S. J. & Petersen, R. L. (eds), Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Religion, Public Policy and Conflict Transformation, Templeton Foundation Press, Radnor, PA, 2001; Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healing the roots”, op. cit. (note 1).

3 Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healingthe roots”, op. cit. (note 1).

4 Brewer, M.B., “Ingroup bias in the minimal intergroup situation: A cognitive-motivational analysis”. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 86, 1978, pp. 307324; Tajfel, H., “Social categorization, social identity and social comparison”, in Tajfel, H. (ed.), Differentiation between Social Groups, Academic Press, London, 1978, pp. 6167; Tajfel, H., “Social psychology of intergroup relations”, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 33, 1982, pp. 139; Tajfel, H. et al. , “Societal categorization and intergroup behavior”, European Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 1, 1971, pp. 149177.

5 Staub, E., The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1989 (hereinafter “The Roots of Evil”); Staub, E., “The cultural-societal roots of violence: The examples of genocidal violence and of contemporary youth violence in the United States”, American Psychologist, Vol. 51, 1996, pp. 17132.

6 Staub., The Roots of Evil, op. cit. (note 5).

7 Staub, E., “Moral exclusion, personal goal theory and extreme destructiveness”, in Opotow, S. (ed.), “Moral exclusion and injustke”, Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 46, 1990, pp. 4765.

8 Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healing the roots”, op. cit. (note 1).

9 Oliner, S. and Oliner, P., The Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe, Free Press, New York, 1988.

10 Aronson, Elliott et al. , The Jigsaw Classroom, Beverly Hills, Sage Publications, Inc., CA, 1978; Staub, E., The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults and Groups Help and Harm Others, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2003.

11 Girard, P., “Historical foundations of anti-Semitism”, in Dimsdale, J., (ed.), Survivors, Victims and Perpetrators: Essays on the Nazi Holocaust, Hemisphere Publishing Company, New York, 1980; Staub, The Roots of Evil, op. cit. (note 5), p. 3.

12 Staub, Ibid.

13 Forges, A. Des, Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda, Human Rights Watch, New York, 1999; Mamdani, M., When Victims Become Killers, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2002.

14 Powers, S., A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Basic Books, New York, 2002; Staub, The Psychology of Good and Evil, op. cit. (note 10), p. 4.

15 Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healing the roots”, op. cit. (note 1). See also the website: <http:www.heal-reconcile-rwanda.org>.

16 Africa Rights, Attribute to Courage, London and Kigali, 2002.

17 Staub, E., “Preventing terrorism: Raising ‘inclusively’ caring children in the complex world of the 21st Century”, in Stout, C. (ed.), The Psychology of Terrorism, Praeger Publishers, New York, 2002.

18 Kelman, H., “Applying a human needs perspective to the practice of conflict resolution: The Israeli-Palestinian case”, in Burton, J. (ed.) Conflict: Human Needs Theory, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1990; Maslow, A., Toward a Psychology of Being, 2nd ed., Van Nostrand, New York, 1968; McCann, L. and Pearlman, L., Psychological Trauma and the Adult Survivor: Theory, Therapy, and Transformation, Brunner/Mazel, New York, 1990.

19 Staub, The Roots of Evil, op. cit. (note 5), p. 3; Staub, “The cultural-societal roots of violence”, op. cit. (note 5), 1996, p. 3; Staub, E., “From healing past wounds to the development of inclusive caring: Contents and processes of peace education”, in Saloman, G. and Nevo, B. (eds), Peace Education: The Concepts, Principles, and Practices around the World, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahvah, NJ, 2002.

20 Ezekiel, R., The Racist Mind, Penguin Books, New York, 1995; Ezekiel, R., “The ethnographer looks at Neo-Nazi and Klan groups: The racist mind revisited”, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2002, pp. 5157; Staub, E., “The roots of goodness: The fulfillment of basic human needs and the development of caring, helping and nonaggression, inclusive caring, moral courage, active bystandership, and altruism born of suffering”, in Edwards, C. and Carlo, G. (eds), Moral Motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Nebraska University Press, Lincoln, forthcoming, (on file with author).

21 Staub, “From healing past wounds”, op. cit. (note 19), p. 7.

22 Des Forges, op. cit. (note 13), p. 5.

23 Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healing the roots”, op, cit. (note 1); E. Staub, Reconciliation after Genocide, Mass Killing or Intractable Conflict: Healing and Understanding, forthcoming (on file with author).

24 Des forges, op. cit. (note 13), p. 5.

25 Staub, E., “The roots of evil: Personality, social conditions, culture and basic human needs”, Personality and Social Psychology Review, Vol. 3, 1999, pp. 179192; Staub, Reconciliation after Genocide, op. cit. (note 23), p. 8.

26 Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healing the roots”, op. cit. (note l).

27 Staub, The Roots of Evil, op. cit. (note 5), p. 3; Staub, “Personality, social conditions”, op. cit. (note 25).

28 Staub, E., “Breaking the cycle of genocidal violence: Healing and reconciliation”, in Harvey, J. (ed.), Perspectives on Loss, Taylor and Francis, Washington, DC, 1998; Staub and Pearlman, “Healing, reconciliation and forgiving”, op. cit. (note 2), p. 2; Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healing the roots”, op. cit. (note l).

29 Volkan, V., Blood Lines: From Ethnic Pride to Ethnic Terrorism, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1997.

30 Staub and Pearlman, “Healing, reconciliation and forgiving”, op. cit. (note 2), p. 2; Staub, Pearhman, and Miller, “Healing the roots”, op. cit. (note 1).

31 Staub, The Roots of Evil, op. cit. (note 5), p. 3.

32 Staub et at, Healing, Forgiving and Reconciliation, op. cit. (note 1), p. 2.

33 J. Herman, Trauma and Recovery, Basic Books, New York, 1992; McCann and Pearlman, op. cit. (note 18), p. 7; Pearlman, L. and Saakvitne, K., Trauma and the Therapist, Norton, New York, 1995.

34 Staub and Pearlman, “Healing, reconciliation and forgiving”, op. cit. (note 2), p. 2; Staub, Pearlman, and Miller,“Healing the roots”, op. cit. (note 1).

35 Staub, “From healing past wounds”, op. cit. (note 19), p. 7; Staub, The Psychology of Good and Evil, op. cit. (note 10), p. 4.

36 Gilligan, J., Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and its Causes, Putnam and Sons, New York, 1996; Widom, C., “Does violence beget violence? A critical examination of the literature”, Psychological Bulletin, Vol., 106, No. 1, 1989, pp. 328; Widom, C., “The cycle of violence”, Science, Vol. 224, 1989, pp. 160166.

37 Eisenberg, N., The Caring Child, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1992; Eisenberg, N. and Fabes, R., “Prosocial development”, in Damon, W. (ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology, 5th ed. N. Eisenberg (ed.), Social, Emotional, and Personality Development, Vol. 3, John Wiley and Sons, 1998; Staub, E., Positive Social Behavior and Morality: Socialization and Development, Vol. 2, Academic Press, New York, 1979.

38 Higgins, G. O'Connell, Resilient Adults Overcoming a Cruel Past, jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1994; Staub, The Psychology of Good and Evil, op. cit. (note 10), p. 4; Staub, “The roots of goodness”, op. cit. (note 20), p. 7.

39 R. Tedeschi, C. Park, and L. Calhoun, (eds), Post-traumatic Growth: Positive Changes in the Aftermath of Crisis, Vol I of Weiner, B. (ed.), Personality and Clinical Psychology Series, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey, 1998.

40 Staub, “The roots of goodness”, op, cit. (note 20), p. 7.

41 Staub, E., “Blind versus constructive patriotism: Moving from embeddedness in the group to critical loyalty and action”, in Staub, E. & Bar-Tal, D. (eds), Patriotism in the Lives of Individuals and Groups, Nelson-Hall, Chicago, 1997; Staub, “Personality, social conditions”, op. cit. (note 25), p. 9; Staub, “The roots of goodness”, op. cit. (note 20), p. 7.

42 Staub, The Roots of Evil, op. cit. (note 5), p. 3; Staub,“Personality, social conditions”, op. cit. (note 25), p. 9.

43 Staub, The Roots of Evil, op. cit. (note 5), p. 3.

44 Staub, Ibid., p. 3; Staub, “Breakingthe cycle”, op. cit. (note 28), p. 10; Staub, The psychology of good and evil, op. cit. (note 10), p. 4.

45 Staub and Pearlman, “Healing, reconciliation and forgiving”, op. cit. (note 2), p. 2; Staub, Pearlman, and Miller, “Healingthe roots”, op. cit. (note 1).

46 Latane, B. and Darley, J., The Unresponsive Bystander: Why Doesn't He Help? Appleton-Crofts, New York, 1970.

47 Powers, op. cit. (note 5).

48 Bigelow, K., “A campaign to deter genocide: The Baha'i experience”, in Fein, H. (ed.), Genocide Watch, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1993.

49 Staub, “Personality, social conditions”, op. cit. (note 25), p. 9.

50 Gourevich, P., We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, Farrar Straus and Giroux, New York, 1998; Powers, op. cit. (note 5), p. 16; Staub, “Personality, social conditions”, op. cit. (note 25), P. 9.

51 Staub, “Personality, social conditions”, op. cit. (note 25), p. 9. In the aftermath of the genocide, during the presidential debates leading up to the 2000 elections, candidate George W. Bush said that he would not have sent troops to Rwanda, although in the aftermath of the genocide it seemed that a small contingent of troops could have prevented the genocide. Candidate Al Gore followed Bush's lead and agreed.

* Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author, inter alia, of The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1989, and The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults and Groups Help and Harm Others?, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2003.

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Preventing violence and generating humane values: Healing and reconciliation in Rwanda

  • Ervin Staub

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