Source: (2006) Journal of Conflict Resolution. 50(3):339-367.

This article examines major theoretical assumptions about forgiveness by victims of human rights abuses in the context of transitional justice in the Czech Republic. The authors hypothesize that forgiveness is facilitated by restoring equality between victims and perpetrators, namely: individual, social and political empowerment of victims; decreasing the superior position of perpetrators, especially through their punishment; and a repentant gesture of perpetrators towards victims, especially by apologizing. The results of path analysis confirm that religious belief, individual, social, and political empowerment, punishment, and apology directly promote forgiveness. This enables the authors to distinguish four types of forgiveness: religious, reparatory, retributive, and reconciliatory forgiveness. They suggest that policy interventions that promote forgiveness may not be mutually exclusive as often proposed in the dilemmas of transitional justice. (author's abstract)