Narrative and Traditional Peacebuilding Systems: Implications for Transitional Justice in Africa and Justice Systems in Britain

Published 14/03/2007
Type Article
Author(s) Diana Batchelor
Corresponding Authors Diana Batchelor, Mediator & Case Worker, Resolve: West Berkshire Mediation Service

In the context of the increasing attention that many fields of research and practice are giving to narrative, this article examines the importance of narrative in reflecting on the past and creating a foundation for the future. It argues that traditional peacebuilding systems are well-placed to elicit narrative and reviews the manner in which they create an environment conducive to story-telling, using examples from Sudan. It then explores the contribution that traditional peacebuilding systems may make – both to contemporary transitional justice systems in Africa and to justice systems in countries such as Britain. In  summary, this article highlights the connection between narrative and traditional peacebuilding systems and demonstrates that by intentionally considering their relationship we reveal numerous principles that could enrich justice systems of all kinds.