Irreconciliation focuses on the less examined but frequent ethnographic instances when survivors refuse to forgive in response to persistent impunity for past injustices, particularly in the face of the absence-presence of the rule of law and staged processes of justice which serve the powerful. In most instances of post-confl ict transitional justice and ‘positive’ reconciliatory exercises, it is incumbent upon survivors to forgive, reconcile, and seek closure as a demonstration of peacefulness, even in the aftermath of processes that claim to address injustice but are compromised. Various anthropologists have criticized reconciliation and related forms of ‘alternative justice’ extensively but within the framework of maintaining social bonds and the rule of law.
This volume is an ethnographically informed, interdisciplinary theorization which makes irreconciliation visible in the contexts of Papua New Guinea, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Canada, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Colombia, the United States, Northern Ireland, and the wider United Kingdom. Irreconciliation allows an important examination of the rule of law within processes of unresolved genocidal injustices and debates relating to slavery, Black Lives Matter, and institutional responses. It is a vigilance against impunity, against a ‘window-dressed’, symbolic performance of redress. Contributors demonstrate the relationship of irreconciliation with law, aesthetics, temporality, resistance, and identify the limits of the concept. This volume wishes to make a theoretical and ethnographic case for irreconciliation as both a social and a political phenomenon. We propose an understanding of the past based on a positive commitment to ‘irreconciliation’ which might interest anthropologists, historians, philosophers, critical legal and political theorists, and scholars of peace, conflict resolution, and transitional justice.
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Previous Special Issues
TOWARDS AND ANTHROPOLOGY OF DATA
Volume 27, Issue S1
MIND AND SPIRIT: A COMPARATIVE THEORY
Volume 26, Issue S1
ENERGY AND ETHICS?
Volume 25, Issue S1
Dislocating Labour: Anthropological Reconfigurations
Volume 24, Issue S1
Meetings: Ethnographies of Organizational Process, Bureaucracy, and Assembly
Volume 23, Issue S1
Volume 22, Issue S1
The Power of Example: Anthropological Explorations in Persuasion, Evocation, and Imitation
Volume 21, Issue S1
Doubt, Conflict, Mediation: The Anthropology of Modern Time
Volume 20, Issue S1
Blood will out: essays on liquid transfers and flows
Volume 19, Issue S1
The return to hospitality: strangers, guests, and ambiguous encounters
Volume 18, Issue S1
The aesthetics of nations: anthropological and historical approaches
Volume 17, Issue S1
Volume 16, Issue S1
Islam, politics, anthropology
Volume 15, Issue S1
The objects of evidence: anthropological approaches to the production of knowledge
Volume 14, Issue S1