Contemporary political ethics has to face the question of how to repair relations which have broken down after crimes, oppression, and political violence. The book employs the work of European and feminist philosophers, including Jacques Derrida, Albert Camus, Simone Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre, Giorgio Agamben, Immanuel Kant, Jean Améry, Vladimir Jankélévitch, Margaret Urban Walker and Linda Radzik to engage with historical and recent cases: the post-liberation French purge, post-genocide Rwanda and post-colonial Australia and draws out the negative and positive conditions of ethical political responses in these contexts. It develops a philosophical account of ethical restoration through focusing on just punishment, guilt and shame, rebuilding political trust, forgiveness and reconciliation, remorse and atonement, and self-forgiveness.
Marguerite La Caze is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Queensland.
Section I: Negative Conditions of Ethical Restoration.
Chapter 1: I Love Living: Derrida, the Death Penalty, and Unconditional Abolition.
Chapter 2: The Taste of Ashes: Beauvoir, Vengefulness, and the Death Penalty in Post-war France.
Chapter 3: At First Blush: Guilt, Shame, and Humiliation.
Section II: Positive Conditions of Ethical Restoration
Chapter 4: Pretending Peace: Kant, Améry, and Political Trust.
Chapter 5: Betrayed by Life: Derrida, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation in Post-genocide Rwanda.
Chapter 6: A Dreadful Solitude: Jankélévitch, Remorse and the Demand for Atonement.
Chapter 7: This Hole in my Heart: Acts of Atonement in Post-colonial Australia.
Chapter 8: In Search of a Magic Spell: Hannah Arendt and Self-forgiveness.