Lecture: "When Political Transitions Work: Reconciliation as Interdependence in South Africa and Beyond"


Location: C103, Hesburgh Center for International Studies

Fanie Du Toit

Join the Kroc Institute for a lecture by Fanie Du Toit, senior advisor of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa, where he previously served as executive director.


Reconciliation emphasizes relationships as a crucial ingredient of political transition. This lecture builds an argument for the importance of a relational focus in crafting sustainable political transitions rooted in the central idea of a pervasive, unavoidable interdependence between groups in conflict. In doing so, it revisits aspects of South Africa’s reconciliation history that are in real danger of being forgotten, or that have never been considered adequately, when conceptualizing reconciliation. Linking reconciliation with the acknowledgement of a de facto interdependence between erstwhile enemies, the argument emphasizes that there is no real alternative to reconciliation if the motivation is the long-term wellbeing of one’s own community. 

Du Toit has been engaged in post-conflict interventions in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Uganda. His current work is focused on deepening the levels of societal reconciliation in South Africa and devising means by which the country can move on from its turbulent past. In the past he was also a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, contributing to his unique perspective of the internal dynamics of this Afrikaner church.


Du Toit was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Kroc Institute from 2012-13.



Originally published at kroc.nd.edu.