Victims of political violence A Habermasian model of truth recovery

Kirk Simpson

in Truth Recovery in Northern Ireland

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780719078620
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703045 | DOI:
Victims of political violence A Habermasian model of truth recovery

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How can people in Northern Ireland come to ‘know the past’, after thirty-eight years of violent conflict? This chapter addresses this issue via an in-depth discussion of a unique and original model for truth recovery that is based on the communicative rationality theory of Jurgen Habermas. The Habermasian model that is outlined in this chapter suggests that the measurement of citizens' competing accounts of the past against one another is a potentially productive and stable method of attempting to uncover the ‘truth’. It provides a mechanism by which victims, and wider society, can attempt to discern the veracity of accounts of the past, and ideally agree upon a consensually negotiated history that contributes towards long-term democratic stability and genuine reconciliation.

Keywords: post-conflict society; Northern Ireland; communicative rationality theory; Jurgen Habermas; truth recovery; democratic stability

Chapter.  10346 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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