15 Pages

Recuperation in the Peruvian Andes


Re-conciliation, re-cuperation and re-construction are terms commonly used to describe processes taking place after violent conflict. The prefix in each case stresses the idea that social life goes back roughly to what it was before. The terms further suggest a number of positive characteristics: state intervention, participation by the people, a sharing of values, resumption of normality and re-appearance of institutions guaranteeing peace, law and order, democracy and a measure of prosperity. The terms are value-laden and highly politicised, for the roots, practices and after-effects of conflict are brushed aside and assumed to leave little discernible trace on social relations or the social imagination. Although we can continue to use such terms as a kind of shorthand, they need to be explored in much greater detail. It is important to understand more about the different kinds of 'peacetime' conflicts that affect social organisation in regions which have suffered violent conflict, and acknowledge that new constellations of power come to the fore and govern who sets the agenda and who can be pressed into following the new rules of the game.