A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation
Following extended periods of conflict or repression, political reconciliation is indispensable to the establishment or restoration of democratic relationships and critical to the pursuit of peacemaking globally. In this important new book, Colleen Murphy offers an innovative analysis of the moral problems plaguing political relationships under the strain of civil conflict and repression. Focusing on the unique moral damage that attends the deterioration of political relationships, Murphy identifies the precise kinds of repair and transformation that processes of political reconciliation ought to promote. Building on this analysis, she proposes a normative model of political relationships. A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation delivers an original account of the failure and restoration of political relationships, which will be of interest to philosophers, social scientists, legal scholars, policy analysts, and all those who are interested in transitional justice, global politics, and democracy.
Humanities Research at Texas A&M University for funding this project. The Department of viii Acknowledgements Philosophy and the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University each supported a sabbatical period that allowed me to complete substantial portions of this book during the fall 2007 and spring 2008 semesters, respectively. Hilary Gaskin at Cambridge University Press has been a superb editor. I would like to express my gratitude to her for guiding me
such.26 Thus, in the context of the legal pursuit of grossly unjust ends, the respect for human dignity and freedom achieved by respect for the rule of law is quite minimal. Indeed, departures from the rule of law are precisely what may be required if officials are to maximally respect the dignity of citizens, especially in cases where officials are asked to enforce substantively unjust laws. For instance, police officials would surely have accorded the dignity of black South Africans more
relationships among equals. Particular emphasis is placed on how the expressive function of unjust practices and institutional structures impacts capabilities. Violence As noted in the introduction, violence is perhaps the most prominent and important characteristic of societies under repressive rule or in the midst of civil conflict, and so constitutes a paradigmatic example of injustice. Violence in general refers to the use of force in order to harm or abuse an individual. Violence takes many
Oppression, p. 163. 118 Capabilities stereotyped communities. Stereotypes can become self-fulfilling.54 Those subject to stereotyping can internalize stereotypes, adopting the view of themselves as inferior, weak, incompetent, lazy, or violent. As a result of the internalization of stereotypes, which may call into question the agency, autonomy, or dignity of members of an oppressed group, individuals may come to question their own autonomy, agency, or moral dignity as persons.55 Such
suggests that a key question that processes of political reconciliation must address to be successful is: what undermines the capacity of individuals to care about, empathize with, and acknowledge the second-personal reasons of others? In this section, I suggest that one important source of the erosion of respect for the moral agency of others stems from how group identity is understood. The construction of group identity plays an important role in the cultivation of the moral capacities that