The Apology in Democracies: Reflections on the Challenges of Competing Goods, Citizenship, Nationalism and Pluralist Politics

  • Michael Cunningham
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society Series book series (RPS)

Abstract

Much of the literature related to the issue of the political apology has focused on one of three areas; attempts to provide a definition of what a ‘real’ or genuine apology looks like and what criteria have to be satisfied to provide one, normative defences of the apology as contributing to various desirable outcomes (e.g. recognition, reconciliation, justice) and the grappling with issues such as collective or transgenerational responsibility, which underpin the coherence of the apology.

Keywords

National Identity Public Intellectual Pluralist Politics Nationalist Sentiment Practical Politics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Political realists often stress security and stability as important political ends, which may conflict with a politics based on more abstract principles of, for example, justice. See William A. Galston, ‘Realism in Political Theory’, European Journal of Political Theory 9, no. 4 (2010): 385–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    For more details about Japanese apologies see Alexis Dudden, Troub led Apologies among Japan, Korea and the United States (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008);Google Scholar
  3. Jennifer Lind, Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008) andGoogle Scholar
  4. Jane W. Yamazaki, Japanese Apologies for World War 11: A Rhetorical Study (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    For recent criticisms of aspects of multiculturalism, see references in Francois Levrau and Patrick Loobuyck, ‘Is Multiculturalism Bad for Social Cohesion and Redistribution?’, Political Quarterly 84, no. 1 (2013): 101–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 5.
    However, Kymlicka has noted that historically many liberals supported the concept of group rights. See Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 61–69.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Anne Stevens, Government and Politics of France (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 3.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    For example, see Arnold M. Schlesinger, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (New York: Norton, 1993).Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    Martha Augoustinos and Amanda LeCouteur, ‘On Whether to Apologise to Indigenous Australians: The Denial of White Guilt’, in Collective Guilt, ed. Nyla R. Branscombe and Bertjan Doosje (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 252.Google Scholar
  10. Michael C. Dawson and Rovana Popoff claim that Horowitz, an American conservative, equates support for reparations with disloyalty to the nation (‘Reparations: Justice and Greed in Black and White’, Du Bois Review 1, no. 1 (2004): 57).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 9.
    See Conrad W. Watson, Multiculturalism (Buckingham: Open University Press, 2000), 36–43 for a critique of Schlesinger.Google Scholar
  12. 10.
    David Miller, On Nationality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 49.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    See Jeremy Black, ‘Contesting the Past’, History 93, no. 310 (2008): 224–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    See, for example, Michael Cunningham, ‘“It Wasn’t Us and We Didn’t Benefit”: The Discourse of Opposition to An Apology By Britain for Its Role in the Slave Trade’, Political Quarterly 79, no. 2 (2008): 252–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    For the case of the US, see John Torpey, ‘Paying for the Past? The Movement for Reparations for African-Americans’, Journal of Human Rights 3, no. (2004): 171–187 and Dawson and Popoff, ‘Reparations’. For Japan, see Lind, Sorry States. In relation to Australia, Augoustinos et al. argue that Rudd mobilised ‘widespread public support’ for his apology:CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Martha Augoustinos, Brianne Hastie and Monique Wright, ‘Apologising for Historical Injustice: Emotion, Truth and Identity in Political Discourse’, Discourse and Society 22, no. 5 (2011): 529 and one estimate was that 30 per cent of Australians supported Howard’s opposition to the apology: BBC News ‘Australia Apology to Aborigines’, 13 February 2008, accessed 12 October 2012, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7241965.stm.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 16.
    President Clinton’s apologies about aspects of American foreign policy seemed to go ‘under the radar’. See Mark Gibney and Erik Roxstrom, ‘The Status of State Apologies’, Human Rights Quarterly 23, no. 4, (2001): 911–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Anthony Giddens, Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994), 112.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mihaela Mihai, ‘When the State Says “Sorry”: State Apologies as Exemplary Political Judgments’, Journal of Political Philosophy 21, no. 2, (2013): 200–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Cunningham 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Cunningham

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations