Reconciliation: An Ethic for Peacebuilding

John Paul Lederach and R. Scott Appleby

in Strategies of Peace

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395914
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776801 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding

Reconciliation: An Ethic for Peacebuilding

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This chapter explores the applicability of a political ethic of reconciliation to cases of gross human rights violations and past political injustices, drawing on reconciliation’s central virtue—mercy—as found in various religious traditions, international human rights discourse, and the liberal tradition. The chapter brings to light not only a deeper meaning of the term reconciliation as a concept of justice, but also what political reconciliation translates to in practice for victims, perpetrators, and state institutions. Like peacebuilding, an ethic of reconciliation at the political and state level involves a multiplicity of practices that are often viewed as mutually exclusive. However, Philpott illustrates through engaging key critiques of reconciliation that when taken together these restorative practices constitute a unique and holistic ethic of reconciliation for political healing.

Keywords: peacebuilding; reconciliation; mercy; human rights violation; justice; political reconciliation

Chapter.  14084 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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