What is Historical Dialogue?

Historical dialogue and accountability is a growing field of advocacy and scholarship that encompasses the efforts of conflict, post-conflict, and post-dictatorial societies to come to terms with their pasts. Historical dialogue places special emphasis on reaching new generations and considering how the meaning of the past changes with the passage of time. It provides the tools to deconstruct historical narratives, to challenge past myths, and to consider the evolution of narratives about the past and how they continue to influence political, social and cultural structures.

Historical dialogue is a valuable tool in achieving the long–term goals of conflict resolution, reconciliation, peacebuilding, and democracy promotion. Historical dialogue makes visible the causes and consequences of disputed histories, acknowledges victims, and involves a wide-range of experts- academics, activists, victims, officials, and affected communities-in an effort to create new paths for moving a society away from conflict.