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The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR) seeks to address unresolved historical legacies in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies with the goal of promoting understanding and inclusiveness. The IHJR is a research centre at EuroClio.
Unresolved historical disputes and injustices are a frequent source of tension or conflict in pluralistic societies. Contested historical legacies can be misinterpreted or manipulated to serve partisan political ends, often aggravating prejudice, hatred, and belligerent nationalist sentiments. They can contribute to tensions and discord at the local, national and even regional level. The IHJR was founded in the belief that addressing contentious or disputed historical legacies can promote understanding, tolerance, and reconciliation in divided societies and contribute toward peace-building processes.
The IHJR engages respected scholars, public-opinion leaders, decision-makers, and other stakeholders from diverse sides of a conflict to work together on multi-year projects designed to address contentious historical issues in a meaningful and impactful manner. To this end, the IHJR convenes conferences, seminars, and working groups, and disseminates its results in publications, exhibitions, public forums, and other forms of outreach.
Since 2004, the IHJR has conducted multi-year projects in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, with a focus on developing shared projects that seek to provide multi-perspectives on divisive historical events. Projects have focused on conflicts in the successor states of former Yugoslavia, Turkey-Armenia, Israel-Palestine, China-Japan, and Indonesia.
The IHJR works in association with a number of institutions, most notably, Harvard University, University of Oxford, the International Bar Association, and Salzburg Global Seminar. The work of the IHJR is overseen by an international advisory committee.
Since 2017, the IHJR has been working on a multi-year project on Contested Histories in Public Spaces, designed to help policy-makers, decision-makers, educators and other stakeholders address contestations over statues, monuments, memorials, street names, buildings and other physical representations of historical legacies in public spaces.
For more information on Contested Histories, click on the image below.