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Acknowledgement: The Road to Forgiveness

Quinn, Joanna
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Working Paper Series. Issue 03/1. Hamilton, ON: Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition. McMaster University. Downloaded 11 December 2003.

In countries seeking to make the transition from a period of mass human rights violations to a new and peaceful future, rebuilding society is an extremely daunting task. Often, the majority of scarce resources are devoted to repairing the physical infrastructure rather than the social infrastructure. Quinn maintains, however, that reckoning with past injustices and seeking justice are at least as necessary to rebuilding as repair of physical infrastructures. In this regard, she further contends that there is a strong and causal relationship between acknowledgement and forgiveness, social trust, democracy, and reconciliation. Hence, in this document she argues that forgiveness – a process that involves acknowledgement of the past – may lead to many of the outcomes desired by those in transitional societies.


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