Crafting Gentleness

Friday, December 01, 2006

Political Violence and Mental Health

"The idea that trauma is created by conflict, but more likely to be manifested in a period of peace implicitly presents war as bad and peace as good. The assumption is that war creates trauma and peace provides the conditions in which trauma can be worked through and psychological health restored. This view of the conflict and peace process is too simplistic. It fails to acknowledge the ambiguities of the findings on the relationship between political violence and mental health, glosses over the positive aspects to the conflict that have helped people to deal with the realities of war, misses those aspects of the peace process that have negatively impacted on people and fails to capture the open-ended and politically contested nature of the peace process."

Chris Gilligan, "Traumatised by peace? A critique of five assumptions in the theory and practice of conflict-related trauma policy in Northern Ireland." Policy and Politics 34(2)


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