Love and Forgiveness in Governance

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Exemplary Stories

Richard Moore

Izzeldin Abuelaish

Immaculée Ilibagiza

Aung San Suu Kyi

Nelson Mandela

Imam Muhammad Ashafa
Pastor James Wuye

Love and forgiveness are universal values practiced throughout the world. These two elements seem to transcend race, culture, and nationality, making them a central part of what makes us human. Despite this fact, limited research exists on the role of love and forgiveness — and its practical application — in governance structures, particularly when it comes to conflict.

Love and forgiveness can have a transformative effect in conflicts ranging from the interpersonal (such as between two individuals) to much larger and more complex situations within a country or region. Arguably, governance leaders can exemplify or build aspects of love and forgiveness into their work, aiding in the advancement towards acceptance, decreased conflict, and ultimately lasting peace within their respective societies.

Therefore, the goal of this project is to recognize, learn from, and contribute to the efforts of government and governance leaders who have demonstrated aspects of love and forgiveness in their work. The Love and Forgiveness Team at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at George Mason UniversityBeyond Intractability (BI), and the Fetzer Institute launched this interactive website in December 2012, in order to:

  1. Recognize individuals who are exemplars in promoting love and forgiveness;
  2. Provide a platform for exchange of ideas and opportunities, and interact with practitioners in the interest of broader application of the learning around exemplars;
  3. Offer inspiring stories from governing professionals, towards the practical application and integration of love and forgiveness into governance programming.

There are hundreds of thousands of officials and leaders participating in active governance today in the world. Many are public figures who are well known to their localities, but not well known to the greater peacebuilding community. It is our hope that through this project, we can highlight not only the work of well-known exemplars, but also the work of many other individuals at all levels of governance. Please join us in this exciting endeavor by nominating an individual who you think exemplifies these ideals, and/or by partaking in the discussions that
are being cultivated within this online space.

For any questions or concerns, or if you are interested in this research and wish to volunteer, please contact the coordinators of the Love and Forgiveness in Governance Project, at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University: Ernest Ogbozor and Cat Meurn via email or call +1 703.993.9402.

Project News:

Continuing development of the Conflict Resolution Collaborative

Fetzer Love and Forgiveness Conference in Assisi, Italy

Love and Forgiveness in Governance project initiated

More News about the Project...

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