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01-03-2011 | Issue 1/2011

Human Rights Review 1/2011

Apology, Recognition, and Reconciliation

Journal:
Human Rights Review > Issue 1/2011
Author:
Michael Murphy

Abstract

The article examines the role of apology in a process of reconciling with historic injustice. As with so many other facets of the politics of reconciliation, official apologies are controversial, at times strenuously resisted, and their purpose and significance not always well understood. The article, therefore, seeks to articulate the key moral and practical resources that official apologies can bring to bear in a process of national reconciliation and to defend these symbolic acts against some of the more influential criticisms from the skeptics. The analysis is developed in relation to apologies offered in the context of state-indigenous reconciliation processes in the Americas, Australasia, and other regions of the globe.

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