Political theory scholarship tends to resist guilt, and especially collective guilt, as a framework for thinking about wrongs committed in the past or still enduring. The voices and experiences of those wronged, however, often imply that they are attributing guilt, and they are attributing it to a collectivity. I follow their lead and think through the potential of political guilt in motivating reparation and redress. Drawing on insights that Karl Jaspers fails to fully develop, I appropriate his notion of political guilt as situation, and read it as something that is contested among victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. Through contestation political guilt creates political spaces for reckoning with the past, and can be instrumental in making space for marginalized voices. I apply my framework to race relations in the contemporary United States, but guilt could be a catalyst to rethink postcolonial relations as well.

“There is a corpse in the room”: on political guilt and reparation of the past

Gatta, Giunia
2024

Abstract

Political theory scholarship tends to resist guilt, and especially collective guilt, as a framework for thinking about wrongs committed in the past or still enduring. The voices and experiences of those wronged, however, often imply that they are attributing guilt, and they are attributing it to a collectivity. I follow their lead and think through the potential of political guilt in motivating reparation and redress. Drawing on insights that Karl Jaspers fails to fully develop, I appropriate his notion of political guilt as situation, and read it as something that is contested among victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. Through contestation political guilt creates political spaces for reckoning with the past, and can be instrumental in making space for marginalized voices. I apply my framework to race relations in the contemporary United States, but guilt could be a catalyst to rethink postcolonial relations as well.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4064549
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