Forgiveness in International Politics

Forgiveness in International Politics

… an alternative road to peace

The whole notion of forgiveness—as a geopolitical prospect—can seem counterintuitive in an age when people crash planes into skyscrapers. And yet, forgiveness has shown itself to be real enough, and strategically useful in helping to repair relationships that have been long sundered in a number of fractious societies.

Based on a seven-year research and dialogue project conducted at Georgetown University, Forgiveness in International Politics presents case studies of conflict transformation in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and other nations. The book explains how political leaders such as South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and South Korea’s Kim Dae Jung helped heal political wounds by engaging in “transactions of forgiveness,” which include gestures of forbearance from revenge and public acknowledgements of wrongdoing.

Such acts and interventions have pointed the way toward a “politics of forgiveness,” according to the authors. …read more