The Palliative Role of Reparations in Reconciling Societies with the Past: Redressing Victims or Consolidating the State?

James Gallen, Luke Moffett

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Abstract

Reparations as a transitional justice mechanism to remedy victims’ harm, with an emphasis on state-building and a liberal market democracy, can clash with other post-conflict goals of reconciliation and the prevention of future violations. This article reviews the claimed goals and expectations for reparations, exploring especially their relationship with reconciliation and guarantees of non-recurrence. Drawing from fieldwork in multiple jurisdictions, we explore the complexity of reparations in practice. We assess whether reparations operate primarily as a palliative solution to the violence of the past that aims to settle and foreclose political contestation, rather than addressing root causes of violence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Early online date07 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 07 Jul 2022

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