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Overcoming the past? Narrative and negotiation, remembering and reparation: issues at the interface of history and the law

Maier, Charles S
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In John Torpey, ed., Politics and the past: on repairing historical injustices. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Pp. 295-304.

Historians and lawyers can prevent neither catastrophes nor atrocities such as genocide and ethnic cleansing, systematic degradation of people, or purposive war against populations. They may play intervention roles after the fact xe2x80x93 for example, in recording or adjudicating what has already happened. At their best, they can help afterward in what can be called restorative justice or restorative politics. Thus they may assist in re-establishing a common institutional and social framework for resuming everyday life without conflict. Beginning from all of this, Charles Maier identifies and reflects upon some related issues concerning history, memory, and restorative justice. Specifically, and with historians especially in mind, he explores retribution and remembering, restitution and reparation, recording and reconstructing, retrieving and reconciling.


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