The book raises many issues. To date, the problem of how to develop successful war to peace transitions has tended to focus on immediate policy needs (bring the peace, the rest will follow). Our intention is to encourage broader thinking about the longer term reasons why the last attempt to produce a sustainable war to peace transition in the Kachin region failed. In this 'Thinking about ...' section, we highlight issues in which subjects within the Arts and Humanities disciplines in particular can be considered important in the job of building stable futures for marginalised communities emerging from long term conflict. A better understanding of history, culture and the arts, the subjective experiences and world views of traumatised communities, and the long term value of educational projects that lead to social cohesion, are vital. They are currently rather overlooked in the development agenda.
Some of these issues are raised in a preliminary way in these additional pages. We aim only to raise awareness of the value of these subjects and to provoke a conversation that can be extended to other contexts than the Kachin region and its peoples alone. These pages may be expanded upon a later date.
We focus upon six areas for 'Thinking about ....'
Chronology in History - Who creates the narrative of events? What are the implications of that creation and control? How can we rethink the history of conflict experience to bring forward other views and perspectives?
Emotion and Aesthetics - What is the role of the arts and culture in shaping as well as reflecting understandings of experience? What does it reveal about popular understandings that fall beyond the view of politicians? In this section we highlight the work of the Kachin artist, Ko Z.
Public History and Memorialisation - How do public/civic spaces reflect tensions likely to undermine war to peace transitions? How, then, can they be reshaped to bring about social conciliation?
Mobilities- How do we incorporate mobilities of difference scales and different forms into our understanding of history? Are new mobilities creating profoundly different societies or are there more connections with mobilities of the past in communities for which movement was a historical underpinning of identity (e.g. migration narratives)?
What are the questions we should be asking?- What are the things that we really need to know about societies involved in these processes to ensure that war to peace transition is more likely to be successful? Does this require a completely different kind of agenda for policy and for research - one that has to involve history and culture?
Research methods - What are the challenges of developing new social research? How does work in the arts and humanities support this? How do we produce both quantitative and the qualitative understandings in developing social histories of communities under stress?
Click on the image gallery below to go to the relevant 'Thinking about ...' page: