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date: 25 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter distinguishes between two concepts of reconciliation that address two kinds of alienation endemic to contexts of civil, interstate, and transnational wars: relational reconciliation, which responds to alienating interactions between agents, and structural reconciliation, which responds to alienating social and political practices and structures that mediate agents’ activities and relations. These two concepts of reconciliation generate different accounts of the purposes of reparations, the agents responsible for reparations, and the forms that reparative measures should take. Reparations schemes in postwar peace settlements should aim not only to reconcile belligerents relationally to each other but also, more fundamentally, to construct a mutually affirmable and affirmed postconflict social/political order. To the extent that contemporary international law limits the duty of reparations to states that are directly responsible for wrongful conduct and excludes disgorgement as an obligation of structural reparation, it remains too focused on the relational versus structural aspects of political reconciliation.

Keywords: reconciliation, reparations, responsibility, historical and structural injustice, colonialism

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