Taking Wrongs Seriously

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-04-07
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr

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Since the end of the Cold War, and particularly during the last fifteen years, the human need to amend immoral wrongs has been expressed in political discourse as a propensity to apologize for acts of past injustice. Can apology, by bringing closure to conflicts and by opening new possibilities for communication and mutual understanding, cultivate reconciliation and ameliorate the present?Taking Wrongs Seriouslyexamines the increasingly potent role of apology as a social force. Contributors explore in a comparative and interdisciplinary framework the role and function--as well as the limitations--that apology has in promoting dialogue, tolerance, and cooperation between groups confronting one another over past injustices. Fourteen essays draw on a variety of disciplines--including history, international relations, transition studies, sociology, legal studies, psychology, and religion--to explore the real and symbolic transactions that lie at the core of apology. There is no similar introductory text on this subject that includes multiple disciplinary perspectives as well as such a wide geographical and historical spectrum of case studies.

Author Biography

Elazar Barkan is Professor of History and Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices (2000), and Retreat of Scientific Racism (1992). Alexander Karn is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Claremont Graduate University.

Table of Contents

Contributors ix
Acknowledgments xv
PART I: An Ethical Imperative: Group Apology and the Practice of Justice
1 Group Apology as an Ethical Imperative
Elazar Barkan
Alexander Karn
PART II: Amending the Past: Conceptual Approaches and Impediments
Apology, Truth Commissions, and Intrastate Conflict
Robkrt I. Rotberg
Punishment, Reconciliation, and Democratic Deliberation
David A. Crocker
Forgive and Not Forget: Reconciliation Between Forgiveness and Resentment
Daniel Levy
Natan Sznaicer
The Transitional Apology
Ruti Teitel
What Some Monuments Tell Us About Mourning and Forgiveness
Vamik D. Volkan
Apologies and Reconciliation. Middle Eastern Rituals
George Emile Irani
PART III: Case Studies: Australia, America, and Europe
The Apology in Australia: Re-covenanting the National Imaginary
Danielle Celermajer
The BIA's Apology to Native Americans: An Essay on Collective Memory and Collective Conscience
Rebecca Tsosie
The New Patriotism and Apology for Slavery
Roy L. Brooks
The Tulsa Race Riot Commission, Apology, and Reparation: Understanding the Functions and Limitations of a Historical Truth Commission
Alfred L. Brophy
The Apology Moment: Vichy Memories in 1990s France
Julie Fette
Justice, Apology, Reconciliation, and the German Foundation: ``Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future''
J.D. Bindenagel
The Worst is Yet to Come: Abu Ghraib and the Politics of not Apologizing
Elazar Barkan
Index 331

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