UWC Centre for Conflict Transformation, Reconstruction and Development (CCTRD)
South Africa’s transition to democracy has brought huge advances to the majority of our people, and significant progress has been made in bridging past divisions. But many tensions and inequalities remain, giving rise to high levels of conflict over issues ranging from socio-economic problems (such as the demand for land, housing and jobs) to the need for accommodating the country’s rich diversity in terms of culture, ethnicity, sex, religion and age.
Conflict in itself is not necessarily negative; it may be no more than a reflection of the need for change. Left to itself, however, it may feed on itself and ultimately destroy the preconditions for a solution. The Centre is inspired by the vision of reversing this vicious cycle and setting an opposite dynamic in motion: of mobilising the social forces manifested in conflict in addressing its root causes and arriving at new, joint-driven solutions. This principle is at the heart of the process of conflict transformation. The Centre furthermore believes that, in the last analysis, such solutions are integrally connected to policies associated with the goals of “reconstruction and development”. Where socio-economic issues are concerned, for example, the link is unmistakably clear. Taken together, therefore, these three concepts – conflict transformation, reconstruction and development – sum up that which the Centre seeks to promote: a holistic and people-centred approach to conflict, aimed at producing sustainable results rather than quick fixes.
At a practical level, the Centre originates from the long-standing cooperation between the law faculties at UWC and the University of Missouri. Its purpose is the establishment of a multidisciplinary but integrated programme for the study and practice of conflict transformation in South Africa and other African countries, incorporating relevant expertise from other faculties and partner institutions.
- January 2006
- Strategic Vision (PDF 93 KB)
- July 2005