Source: (2007) In Jon Miller and Rahul Kumar, ed., Reparations: Interdisciplinary Inquiries, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, Pp. 153-175.

"In this brief chapter I try to summarize the direction which I have taken in this area. Here I will start with a modest effort to establish some semantic clarity, at least by trying to distinguish between two different contexts of use of the term 'reparations'. The semantic overflow from one sphere of use - the legal - into the other - the more political arena in which massive programs are designed - actually has some pernicious consequences. So it is important to distinguish the uses of the term (Section 7.1). I then proceed to a brief discussion of what justice in reparations may mean when the idea is to repair a large number of cases, as opposed to individual, isolated cases. I discuss some of the problems with taking the idea of compensation in proportion to harm as an unproblematic criterion of justice, and argue instead in favor of three goals which are intimately related to justice, namely, recognition, civic trust, and social solidarity (Section 7.2). Finally, without ever pretending that a blueprint for a program of reparations can be designed from a purely theoretical perspective, I offer some clarification of the basic trade-offs that accompany some of the choices that have to be made in the process of constructing a comprehensive and coherent reparations program (Section 7.3)." (excerpt)