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Human Rights and Ethics

The Age of Apologies

Within the past few years several Western states have acknowledged and apologized for past "wrongs" committed. Even more recently, international organizations, i.e. the United Nations, have taken steps to recognize their responsibility in mishandling humanitarian crises and have come to apologize to the victims (Srebrenica and Rwanda).

This apology phenomenon can be viewed within the context of a larger international effort to seek and establish the truth – best exemplified by truth commissions in countries emerging from dictatorial rule. In many ways, the politics of apology has become associated with the Western version of the truth commission.

This project will study attempts to "come to terms" with the past, and what this might mean in terms of the political, economic and ethical relationship between the West (Western states and Western-minded international organizations) and countries from the periphery.


Page last modified 2019.04.16.

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