Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Reparations for Past Harms
Reparations involve applying the logic of restorative justice to the negotiation and resolution of intergroup conflicts, which increasingly since the end of World War II has been regarded as an effective method for redressing historical injustice. Reparations have been understood narrowly, as material compensation for losses that could not otherwise be recovered, and historically these strictures were imposed on history's “losers” (for example, in the case of war reparations). Recently, the concept has come to encompass a range of voluntary mechanisms to rectify past harms. These include monetary compensation; restitution (return of expropriated goods or properties); apology and commemoration (acknowledgment of a moral transgression and a commitment to reverse or ameliorate the enduring consequences of that transgression); and the implementation of group-sensitive measures for the protection and preservation of minority cultures and minority rights (positive discrimination, as in the antigambling exemptions that some Native American tribes have been granted in ...