(Re)Building Nations: In the Aftermath of Trauma

Natalie Tan - Singapore

my sources http://imdlive.com//user/register/?element_parents=account/mail/#value In our next topic, (Re)Building Nations, our authors begin by grappling with events that are fundamentally disruptive—instances where the pre-existing social fabric of a place has been disturbed. Importantly, this topic does not conflate nations with nation-states; nations may be political, religious, or ethnic communities existing within or between political boundaries. The goal of each piece is to investigate the ways in which these nations (re)build following trauma, upheaval, or conflict. In many cases, these nations will indeed be rebuilding; attempting to stitch back together the pieces of a previously dynamic and prosperous place. In other cases, these disruptive events themselves produce the circumstances amenable to the birth of entirely new nations. In these instances we interrogate how new nations are built and at what cost.

Some of these nations are post-conflict, others are also post-colonial. The intimate and important implications of these histories are embedded in each piece. The sub-title for this topic, “In the Aftermath of Trauma”, encapsulates the fact that something impactful has occurred—whether on a physically destructive or psycho-socially destructive level—that requires a recuperation and (re)building of some sort. These pieces will thus range from addressing Canada’s attempted cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples, to partition’s legacy in Pakistan, to gendered violence in Bangladesh, to peace in Tajikistan. These pieces offer a broad survey of the varied ways in which communities respond to critical moments in history, and the resulting nations that emerge from those choices.

Some of these outcomes are regrettable—returns to violence, persistent discrimination, or entrenched demagoguery—while others offer hope for better ways forward—through meaningful reconciliation, peaceful community building, or genuine efforts at collaboration. The processes by which nations (re)build and (re)constitute themselves are deeply important. They are critical in shaping the architecture that supports nations, and thus, determines whether they are prosperous or frail. The implications for future generations, adjacent communities, and the global political landscape should not be overlooked.