Source: (2003) In John Torpey, ed., Politics and the past: on repairing historical injustices. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Pp. 1-34.

According to John Torpey, editor of this book, the pursuit of reparations and apologies for a wide array of past injustices has in recent years become a major focus of victims (or their descendants), of their societies, and of scholars studying social change. So common is this, says Torpey, that xe2x80x9ccoming to terms with the pastxe2x80x9d has, to a considerable degree, supplanted the elaboration of visions of the future in contemporary politics. The essays in this book explore the background and consequences of this shift from a future orientation to a backward one. To lead into the book, Torpey offers in this introductory chapter a framework for understanding the worldwide spread of reparations politics. He does this first by defining reparations, and then by mapping or conceptualizing reparations politics in terms of a field of related activities. This field of related activities, which he discusses, includes transitional justice, reparations, apologies and expressions of regret, and communicative history (e.g., memory, historical consciousness, and memorials).