This chapter reasserts that wide-ranging and genuine national reconciliation is needed to overcome the polarization that is afflicting Arab societies undergoing political transitions. It highlights the challenges to such a process, including selecting appropriate participants and the proper timing. It argues that the process is nonlinear and complicated, and that regional contexts and external actors must be taken into account. The chapter reiterates the importance of national dialogue, dealing with the past, uncovering the truth, addressing victims’ needs, and reforming institutions. It adds that successful national reconciliation processes must engage their societies’ powerful agents of reconciliation, including women, civil society, and tribes. The chapter proposes that the international community can contribute to successful transitions through providing political, financial, and technical support, and concludes with suggestions for areas of future research.
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