The Long Road From Cold War to Warm Peace: Building Shared Collective Memory Through Trust


  • Mariska Kappmeier
  • Aurélie Mercy


Conflict does not end when violence ceases. Societies faced with overcoming conflict are confronted with many obstacles in the long process of reconciliation as they move from cold war to warm peace. They have to bridge the divide of disparate collective memory while overcoming deep-rooted inter-group distrust. Disparate collective memories fuel the conflict by preserving hatred and distrust. We suggest that one step towards warm peace is the establishment of an overarching superordinate group memory, or Shared Collective Memory. Our paper introduces a theoretical reconciliation model that proposes three incremental reconciliation cycles to build a Shared Collective Memory through the parallel development of intergroup trust. It combines and expands on the existing conceptualizations of trust and of collective memory and provides a framework for future empirical research.