Source: (2008) European Journal of Social Theory 11(3): 299–314.

This article seeks to contest the frequently repeated assertion that anger poses the greatest threat to transitional societies moving from authoritarianism to democracy. Against suggestions that victims of past injustices should forswear their ‘negative emotions’ lest they spark a renewed cycle of violence, it argues that it is important to recognize the moral legitimacy of their anger. While anger is notoriously (though contestably) vulnerable to excess and needs to be moderated in reference to shared norms of reasonableness, it represents an appropriate response to wilful harm and needs to be afforded a central role in any conception of justice. (author's abstract)