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Title: Moral Courage, Resistance and Trauma Response in a Prolonged Conflict: An Example of Aceh
Contributor(s): Cook-Tonkin, Louise (author); Spence, Rebecca  (supervisor); Boughton, Robert  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2011
Copyright Date: 2008
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Abstract: In 2004 a number of members of Activist and NGO groups gathered in Medan (North Sumatra) for a peace education workshop organized by Peace Brigades International. The participants were interviewed regarding their experience of finding the moral courage to resist repression. Information was also gathered on this topic from the workshop material in which participants reflected on their experiences of maintaining their programs in a repressive and challenging environment. The data collected was compared with literature about moral courage and resistance from a number of different perspectives. The findings suggest that seeing those facing repression as 'victims' rather than active agents in their own lives does them an injustice. It appears that the human spirit is provoked to take action in the face of threats to deeply held values and beliefs of the social group. Moral courage was therefore found to be located in group structures rather than individual psyches. Indonesian culture provides a strong emphasis on group bonds and so traditional values can contribute to building moral courage. The findings were compared with those in other countries, such as Latin and Central America. Data from these sources provided important comparative details because repression has been considerable also in these locations In the case of western democracies repression impacting entire populations is rare and has generally affected minority groups only. In Aceh, as in Latin America, the sanctions of repression were extended to the entire population. This paper outlines the findings from the research with the Activist and NGO workers from Aceh and identifies the importance of these findings for contemporary peace building.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 160805 Social Change
Rights Statement: Copyright 2008 - Louise Cook-Tonkin
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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