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Keywords

Social cohesion, Contact theory, Cooperative, Genocide, Genocide survivor, Genocide perpetrator, Rwanda

Content Language

EN

Abstract

This paper aims to contribute to the theoretical debate when it comes to how to successfully achieve social cohesion after violent conflicts. Using the premises of contact hypothesis, and qualitative approach, the paper’s theoretical conclusions are drawn from the experience of the relational effects of contact, in the cooperative organization, between antagonistic groups in post-genocide Rwanda—genocide survivors and genocide perpetrators, as well as their respective family members. The paper discusses the nature, the form and the degree of the relational effects resulting from contact, in the cooperative organization, between post-genocide sides and suggests that, by virtue of its guiding values and principles, the cooperative contact stands as an alternative method for social cohesion after violence. The cooperative method has both a backward and forward-looking degree whereby its form departs from individual-to-individual process and extends to individual- group level. Unlike other processes of social cohesion that are public and involve a third party, the cooperative way is natural, intimate, private, and does not involve a third party, which makes cooperation, in the cooperative, an alternative approach to social cohesion.

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