Political forgiveness’ transformative potentials

2015-04-22T09:58:13Z (GMT) by Barbara A. Misztal
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the theoretical and empirical understandings of the role that political forgiveness plays in the post-conflict and post-authoritarian societies. The paper provides a discussion of the complexities of the concept of political forgiveness, and offers empirical examples that demonstrate the different capacities and potentials that political forgiveness has as a mode of social reconciliation and repair the past injustice. It argues that today, with the accumulation of experience in the practice of transitional justice, and the growing importance of human rights regime, considering of forgiveness through the accountability’s lens is very timely and important. After the discussion of the contribution of forgiveness to societal reconstruction in the post-conflict and post-authoritarian societies, the paper focuses on the role of forgiveness as an essential part of justice and solidarity. By scrutinizing forgiveness’ links with reconciliation and justice, the paper offers a comprehensive way to assess the nature of preconditions and the role of forgiveness in addressing the past injustice and overcoming divisions in post-conflict societies. Its discussion of empirical findings on the role that forgiveness opens up a debate about risks and costs involved in a policy of forgiveness in newly democratized countries.