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Forgiveness and Political Reconciliation

Digeser, Peter
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Paper for the Political Studies Association-UK 50th Annual Conference. 10-13 April. London. Downloaded 6 July 2004.

This paper explores the relationship between political forgiveness and reconciliation. Using a
distinction between a process and a state of reconciliation, I argue that political forgiveness can
be part of a process of reconciliation that involves the restoration of trust and civility. As part
of that process, however, political forgiveness cannot guarantee arriving at a state in which
civic friendship is created or restored. Nevertheless, political forgiveness can play an important
role in obtaining a state of reconciliation in which past wrongs no longer serve as the basis for
legitimate future claims.


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