- South Africa
- Sierra Leone
South Africa and Sierra Leone: The Trauma of Conflict and Peace
This PhD project investigates the relationship between post-conflict trauma and peace processes, and how constructions of trauma and healing have influenced post-conflict society. Since the 1980s, post-conflict processes such as Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs) have been established to provide reconciliation and justice, and to incorporate individual traumatic events into national healing. However, in seeking to produce a consensus on history, TRCs frequently silence alternate narratives. Thus, whilst some who are traumatized by conflict are heard, others are not. This exclusivity in addressing individual trauma raises the question as to whether peace processes such as TRCs can actually encourage the continuation of social division, and the reemergence of conflict.
This research challenges the ‘healing’ capacity of peace processes, and aims to investigate how trauma can come not only from conflict, but from peace as well. Furthermore, this project engages with the ongoing challenge of integrating individual experiences with broader collective processes. By comparing the cases of South Africa and Sierra Leone, this project seeks to illuminate the challenges which remain in post-conflict societies.
Primary Supervisor: Dr Kieran Mitton
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries
Hannah holds an MA in International Conflict Studies with Distinction from King’s College London, and a First Class MA (Hons) in International Relations from the University of St Andrews. During her MA she held a research position at the International Centre for Security Analysis (ICSA), and has also undertaken research for the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) in Brazil.