by Nir Eisikovits
Suffolk University, Boston, USA
ISBN 978-90-8979-018-7 paperback
List price EURO 39 / US$ 49
International Negotiation Series, 8 (International Studies Library, 17)
About this book
Since the demise of the Soviet Union, and, to a greater degree, after the collapse of apartheid in South Africa, interest in the transition from mass atrocity has swelled. Surprisingly, this upsurge produced few systematic philosophical discussions of the notion of ‘reconciliation’. The term is employed as if its meaning were obvious. Like ‘terrorism’ or ‘patriotism’, ‘reconciliation’ has become one of those terms, which is easy to use but harder to explain. This book provides a theory of political reconciliation. Its argument is that what Adam Smith called ‘sympathy’, the ability to view the world from another's perspective, offers a promising framework for thinking about reconciliation - more promising than accounts focusing on forgiveness, forgetting or mutual recognition. The book also suggests that the notion of sympathy is essential for evaluating transitional policies such as truth commissions and war crime tribunals.
"Eisikovits does what not many others can do. He moves from philosophical exploration to public policy to practical guidance with the greatest of ease. In his analysis of peace processes, when they succeed and why they fail, he draws case studies from a broad range of situations spicing these evocative histories with hypothetical examples that so well illustrate as well as amuse. In brief, Eisikovits is presenting a book that will remain a classic as long as the classics upon which he bases his original arguments have inspired thought. His friendly, unpretentious tone, the leadership that he offers through a maze of complicated issues ensures that this book will be a standard textbook in so many popular courses in political science, international affairs, conflict resolution and many other popular fields. But it will also be on the desks and prominent in the libraries of statesman and diplomats who have to structure decision making processes of different complexities."
Hillel Levine, President, International Center for Conciliation and Professor of Religion, Boston University About the Author(s)/Editor(s)
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Defining Reconciliation
Chapter 2 Objections
Chapter 3 Becoming Sympathetic
Chapter 4 Sympathy And Transitional Justice (I):
War Crime Trials
Chapter 5 Sympathy And Transitional Justice (II):
Chapter 6 Implications For Negotiation And Conflict Resolution:
Theory And Practice
Nir Eisikovits, Ph.D (2005) in Philosophy, Boston University, is Assistant Professor of legal and Political Philosophy at Suffolk University in Boston, where he directs the Program in Ethics and Public Policy. He has published on transitional justice and the aftermath of war in scholarly journals and in the popular press.