Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook
Featured mercados Musik johnson vega inmobiliariomercado

“The world needs new solutions”

The world has been in war mode since Russia attacked Ukraine.

- 1 reads.

“The world needs new solutions”

The world has been in war mode since Russia attacked Ukraine. There is talk of a turning point. This includes arms deliveries to Ukraine as well as increasing defense budgets. And it is precisely in this time of crisis that the "Center for Reconciliation Research" opens at the University of Bonn. The renowned Bonn sociologist Hans-Georg Soeffner, co-initiator and spokesman for the center, explains why we should be thinking about reconciliation now.

WORLD: What exactly do you mean by reconciliation?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: It's a kind of ideal. It is about the transformation of long-term hostilities into free relationships of recognition - on the basis of friendship and mutual trust. Reconciliation requires a voluntary process. See what connects, put aside what divides – make friends out of opponents.

WORLD: Isn't that almost impossible?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: A permanent reconciliation is actually a very unlikely case. From the Gospel of Luke we know the story of the prodigal son who left his family and carried through his inheritance. When he returned home penniless, his father took him in without reservation. That shouldn't happen too often.

WORLD: Are there successful examples from the profane world?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: The friendly relationship between France and Germany after the Second World War is exemplary. 18 years after the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces, President Charles de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer have drawn up a treaty of friendship. The Élysée Treaty was not only formally certified, the two heads of state even hugged after signing. In doing so, they ritually exaggerated and symbolically personalized the contract. This gesture became a commitment to reconciliation and friendship between peoples who were once hostile.

WORLD: Are there hopeless cases?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: There are extreme situations in which there will be no reconciliation. In which people who have been victimized have the right to refuse reconciliation.

WORLD: How about the victims of the Holocaust?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: Yes, but surprisingly, in the past few decades, even here hostilities have been overcome through contracts or compensation payments. Sometimes even personal friendships developed. These are lengthy, tentative and not always successful processes. Even in cases of abuse, reconciliation between victim and perpetrator is hardly imaginable.

WORLD: And how do you assess the situation between Russia and Ukraine?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: There will be no reconciliation as long as Putin tries to change history, discredits Ukraine and denies it national independence. He doesn't even attempt to take Ukraine's point of view.

WORLD: If a successful reconciliation is something like squaring the circle, why are you doing research on it?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: Our world needs new solutions for all the crises, conflicts and wars we have to deal with. We are currently in a difficult situation with the war in Ukraine, global crises and the struggle for raw materials and food. In addition, religious and ideological fundamentalism are increasingly shaping our societies. These developments do not stop at borders, and they have intensified in recent decades.

WORLD: Which methods make sense?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: Reconciliation can only be achieved if one is willing to accept the perspective of the other. First you have to consciously look for ways to reach a consensus. Between the two poles of reconciliation and irreconcilability, there are conflict management strategies that can soften hardened situations. We are currently supporting projects that work in this way. For example in Bosnia and Namibia. Countries with ethnic conflicts. Disputing parties are given the opportunity to articulate their different interests on neutral ground, accompanied by independent mediators, and thus get to know the perspective of the other party.

WORLD: There are also social conflicts in Germany. Followers of conspiracy theories, racists and citizens of the Reich are far from taking the perspective of the other. The Corona debates have even caused a rift within families.

Hans-Georg Soeffner: This is not a purely German problem. We have an extraordinarily unstable situation in all immigration countries. Societies are changing with increasing globalization and immigration. They become more heterogeneous. Every person who comes to us brings with them their own cultural memories, their religion and their claims to truth. The supporters of conspiracy theories, who mostly come from the bourgeois middle class, want above all to create security for themselves and find it in communities that shut themselves off from the public. The stronger the community, the stronger the demarcation from the outside and the claim to know the actual truth.

WORLD: That is threatening for the state. With what means can he react?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: At the top of the list are unifying collective rituals. The British can compensate for the quarrels in their own country by singing the national anthem. And they have royalty. This holds heterogeneous societies together – at least symbolically. A royal house is something like a ritual constant in the state. Even the Catholic Church would have broken up long ago if it could not rely on its ritual stocks, among other things.

WORLD: Now we don't have a royal family...

Hans-Georg Soeffner: … instead, a certain ritual hostility, which can be explained by our history with the National Socialists marching and waving flags. Perhaps the confrontation with the "Third Reich", the reconstruction of the Federal Republic and the associated prosperous economy were sufficient for a long time as the connecting factors of our society. Today this is different. We live in an increasingly heterogeneous society.

WORLD: Even in England it is not enough to intonate "Rule, Britannia!" to deter terrorists from attacks.

Hans-Georg Soeffner: What we primarily need now is education in the willingness to reconcile, which should start in childhood. In Finland, this is already part of the compulsory educational programme. In our increasingly individualized world, we must learn again to be willing to accept others as much as ourselves.

WORLD: Doesn't that sound a bit naive when you consider that xenophobia can lead to migrants' houses being set on fire?

Hans-Georg Soeffner: The aim must nevertheless be to achieve a peaceful coexistence of the different groups - despite different opinions and beliefs. Without an ideal like the idea of ​​reconciliation, without the idea that conflicts can be overcome, there is no humane coexistence.

Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.