Apology and Reparation

Aarti Iyer and Craig Blatz

in The Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199747672
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Apology and Reparation

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Apology and reparations can facilitate the transition from conflict to peace, but the processes of deciding to offer them, determining their content, and deciding whether to accept their terms can themselves give rise to additional conflict. We examine these processes in this chapter, starting with a discussion of the parties involved: victims, perpetrators, group representatives, and third parties. Next, we consider the steps needed to bring about offers of apology and reparations: acknowledgment of illegitimate harm by a perpetrator group, and acknowledgment that restitution is feasible. In the third section we outline the various forms that apology and reparation have taken in intergroup conflict. We then focus on the aftermath of apology and reparation: when are victims and perpetrators likely to support such offers? We conclude that apology and reparation can help resolve conflict, but that they also require careful negotiation. We outline some unanswered questions and directions for future research.

Keywords: Apology; reparations; redress; intergroup conflict; historical injustice; forgiveness; reconciliation

Article.  14819 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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