The Uses and Abuses of Apology

Palgrave MacMillan (forthcoming)
Abstract
"Recent decades have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of state apologies for historical and more recent injustices, ranging from enslavement to displacement and from violations of treaties to war crimes, all providing the backdrop to displays of official regret. Featuring a host of leading authors in the field, this book seeks to contribute to the growing literature on official apologies by effectively combining philosophical reflection and empirical analysis. It achieves two interrelated goals: it enriches the theoretical debates on the nature and functions of apologies while bringing forth new insights from hitherto unexamined normative horizons. It further addresses often overlooked aspects of political apologies, such as their non-verbal dimension as well as religious overtones, while testing theoretical reflections through encounters with real practices of state apologies. Finally, the book explores the obstacles to, and the limitations of, political apologies. The result is an excellent interdisciplinary volume that affords the reader a better understanding of conditions for a legitimate and successful state apology. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction PART I: THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS 2. Beyond the Ideal Political Apology; Alice MacLachlan 3. Political Apologies and Categorical Apologies; Nick Smith PART II: RITES AND RITUALS OF REGRET 4. From Mea Culpa to Nostra Culpa: A Reparative Apology from the Catholic Church?; Danielle Celermajer 5. The Power of Ritual Ceremonies in State Apologies: An Empirical Analysis of the Bilateral Polish-Russian Commemoration Ceremony in Katyn in 2010; Michel-André Horelt 6. Confessing the Holocaust: The Evolution of German Guilt; Stefan Engert PART III: CHALLENGING CASES 7. Revisiting the 'Membership Theory of Apologies': Apology Politics in Australia and Canada; Melissa Nobles 8. The Canadian Apology To Indigenous Residential School Survivors: A Case Study of Re-Negotiation of Social Relations; Neil Funk-Unrau 9. What Makes a State Apology Authoritative? Lessons from Post-Authoritarian Brazil; Nina Schneider PART IV: OBSTACLES AND LIMITATIONS 10. The Apology in Democracies: Reflections on the Challenges of Competing Goods, Citizenship, Nationalism and Pluralist Politics; Michael Cunningham 11. An Apology for Public Apologies; Juan Espindola 12. Reasoning Like a State: Integration and the Limits of Official Regret; Cindy Holder"
Keywords Political Apologies  Forgiveness  Transitional Justice  Reconciliation
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