Victimized Communities in Favor of Seeking Forgiveness

Released on: October 31, 2007, 4:37 pm

Press Release Author: Wiley-Blackwell

Industry: Government

Press Release Summary: Victimized communities agree that the act of seeking
intergroup forgiveness is key in facilitating the process of reconciliation.

Press Release Body: Melbourne, Australia - 1 November, 2007- Victimized communities
agree that the act of seeking intergroup forgiveness is key in facilitating the
process of reconciliation.

A recent study published in the Wiley-Blackwell journal, Regulation & Governance,
showed that a large majority believed that - if conducted in public, popular and
democratic manner - the act of seeking forgiveness in an intergroup context will be
meaningful to their communities. In addition, they also concurred that the process
should be aimed at reconciliation and not at humiliating the requesting group.

Dr. Etienne Mullet, lead author of "Seeking Forgiveness in Intergroup Context:
Angolan, Guinean, Mozambican, and East Timorese Perspectives" examines the views of
people from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and East Timor who had suffered
personally in civil wars or wars of occupation.

Among the 985 survey participants, almost 90% favored the idea of a community
seeking forgiveness from another group. These results were consistent among the four
countries in terms of age, gender, education level and level of suffering.

"Asking for intergroup forgiveness is perceived, above all, as a democratic and
public process. The participants agreed that public discussions and voting consensus
must occur before any concrete action are taken", says Dr Mullet.

Despite being like-minded in seeking forgiveness, participants of the four countries
have different opinions about the actual process - particularly with regards to the
degree of involvement on the part of international organizations, and the extent of
material compensation that should be incorporated in the process.

Dr. Mullet adds. "Although participants from each country have differing beliefs on
the process of seeking forgiveness, the majority supported the idea of seeking
intergroup forgiveness and agreed on the key objective of the exercise - that is,
the promotion of reconciliation between the groups involved."


This paper is published in the December 2007 issue of Regulation & Governance and is
available free online at the following URL: .Media wishing to receive more
information or schedule media interviews with the authors should contact Alina Boey,
PR & Communications Manager Asia at or phone

About Regulation & Governance
Regulation & Governance aims to serve as the leading platform for the study of
regulation and governance by political scientists, lawyers, sociologists,
historians, criminologists, psychologists, anthropologists, economists, and others.
Research on regulation and governance, once fragmented across various disciplines
and subject areas, and has emerged at the cutting edge of paradigmatic change in the
social sciences. Through the peer-reviewed journal Regulation & Governance, we seek
to advance discussions between various disciplines about regulation and governance,
promote the development of new theoretical and empirical understanding, and serve
the growing needs of practitioners for a useful academic reference. Published
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original research, debate and refinement of key ideas and findings in one of the
most important fields of the social sciences.

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Web Site:

Contact Details: Alina Boey

PR & Communications Manager, Asia

613-8359 1046

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