Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Aseema Sinha

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© 2013 Koffi Rene Yves Kouassi


How could citizens trust a new regime after being oppressed by the previous one? How could citizens forgive their neighbors who yesterday were executioners, used by the previous government, to commit atrocities (Halpern and Weinstein, 2004)? How could people ever feel safe in their own country after being traumatized by civil wars and human rights violations? Is there a political process that could help countries transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one and consolidate that democracy? This thesis argues that reconciliation commissions are the answer to all these questions. It also argues that they could be the middle step between peace and democracy-building. However, there are some necessary and sufficient conditions that need to be satisfied.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.