The establishment of peace in post-genocidal states is vital, as the experience of extreme division and violence can scar a population, contributing to violence and inequality moving forward. Existing literature on post-conflict transition and governance argues that two main systems are typically used: consociationalism and assimilationism. While consociationalism argues for heterogeneity in the state and assimilationism for homogeneity, both of these systems use the institutionalization of identity as a step in post-conflict recovery, through such means as proscribing or privileging particular identities. This study posits that this is inherently flawed, as attempts to institutionalize identity ignore its contextually fluid or fixed nature. In using Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda as case studies for the hypotheses of consociationalism and assimilationsim, respectively, this research finds that such institutionalization not only fails to support development towards sustainable peace, but actually inhibits it. This supports the alternative hypothesis proposed by this study, that post-conflict recovery and reconciliation is dependent on 'thick' understandings of local contexts and the honoring of diversity over fixed categorization.


Krain, Matthew

Second Advisor

Matsuzawa, Setsuko


International Relations; Sociology and Anthropology


Comparative Politics | Eastern European Studies | International Relations | Peace and Conflict Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology


peace, genocide, identity, justice, Bosnia-Herzegovinia, Rwanda, development, post-conflict, governance, recovery, reconciliation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2015 Stephanie A. Sugars