Comparing Community Restorative Justice in Bellows Falls, Vermont & Gacaca Processes in Rwanda

Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

John Ungerleider


In conflict transformation, a restorative justice (RJ) practice is defined as a culture-shift in how communities address harm and conflict and as a transformative process focused on rebuilding and healing the relationship between victims, defined as those harmed, offenders as those responsible, and communities as those impacted by the harm.

This study investigates the Gacaca model of restorative justice in Rwanda and the Community Restorative Justice model in Bellows Falls, Vermont. The study specifically explores the motivation for volunteering in both contexts, examines cultural implications and different social identities in those motivations, uncovers the benefits and limitations of the two community-based models, recommends best practices from each, and offers recommendations for further research.


Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification

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