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Murphy's Moral Theory is a nice addition to the literature. Murphy presents an unapologetically ideal account of political community -- one which both.
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On occasion, it is misleading to speak of reconciliation, since there is no prior morally acceptable condition to which to return indeed, South Africa is illustrative—it is hardly the case that relations between white colonists and black Africans were ever particularly just , but the term continues to be used to deal with post-violence relations.

Normative accounts of reconciliation cover a broad spectrum, ranging from minimalist to maximalist versions. For instance, minimalist accounts identify reconciliation with the cessation of overt political violence, respect for the formal rule of law, and a commitment to remain part of the same political community.

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Scholars working from this perspective emphasize how all political societies are characterized by a plurality of basic values and normative orientations, and thus moral disagreement is a fundamental element of political life. A fair number of legally oriented human rights organizations adopt this minimal account as a baseline for evaluating levels of peace and reconciliation. For deliberativists, public debate is a crucial component of reconciliation; victims of violence and other disparaged groups must be included in debates over historical memory and collective identity as a way of reaffirming basic rights and reintegrating survivors as moral and political equals.

This entails a host of supplementary goals, including the critical and public interrogation of ideologies supporting the violence, some accountability for perpetrators, and public recognition and acknowledgement of victims such as through reparations. Equality and the reintegration of victims, rather than social harmony, is the general aim of these approaches Dryzek The focus is on political and social equality with a special emphasis on the status of victims and survivors Verdeja Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the chair of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, often called for a significantly expanded conception of reconciliation Tutu His work is typical of what we can term maximalist formulations, where reconciliation is understood as the renewal of social and personal relations through repentance and forgiveness.

These approaches pay special attention to the importance of personal transformation and the ways in which religious and other ethical discourses can be employed to promote mercy, compassion, and grace in interpersonal relations. Recent theories have drawn on religious resources to deepen understandings of political transformation Philpott These various approaches generate a host of somewhat different policies and programs: for instance, minimalists may emphasize policies that strengthen the rule of law and the orderly change of political office-holders through elections, whereas deliberativists draw attention to the added need for securing the conditions for historically disparaged groups to participate as equals in politics.

Maximalists bring further attention to the need for a fundamental transformation in personal values, with all of the hard, long-term society- and community-level programs that this may entail. Ultimately, reconciliation efforts are drawn out and often only partially successful, but the continued calls for reconciliation across a wide variety of political contexts point to the demand to respond to a violent past so that it may not be repeated.

Dwyer, Susan. Dryzek, John. Kwak, Jun-Hyeok and Melissa Nobles eds. New York: Routledge. Murphy, Colleen. A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Philpott, Daniel. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Verdeja, Ernesto. Leave a comment.

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