The work of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has generated a great deal of interest in the role of forgiveness in politics. More specifically, it has raised the question of whether forgiveness should be a constitutive part of reconciliation processes between groups. In this paper, I argue that it should not, and that it might be both more useful and more realistic to consider something like Adam Smith’s notion of ‘sympathy’ instead. The first part examines the arguments for and against policies promoting political forgiveness. The second part suggests sympathy as an alternative. The third part considers and rejects some objections to the employment of sympathy in this context.
On the Benefits of Sympathy for Political Reconciliation
Between Contestation and Mediation
In light of the pragmatic aspirations of ordinary language philosophy, this essay critically examines the competing grammatical strictures that are often set forth within the theoretical discourse of 'power'. It repudiates both categorically appraisive employments of 'power' and the antithetical urge to fully operationalize the concept. It offers an attenuated defense of the thesis that 'power' is an essentially contestable concept, but rejects the notion that this linguistic fact stems from conflict between antipodal ideological paradigms. Careful attention to the ordinary pragmatics of power-language evinces the prospects for integrating various context-specific aspects of power and mediating between traditionally divergent theoretical frameworks.
Kira Erwin and Gerhard Maré
This special issue emerges from a concern with academic practice around researching and theorising race, racialism and racism; particularly within the current theoretical climate in which race is, in the majority, accepted as a social construct. In public thinking and discourse, however, acceptance of the biological existence of races continues to dominate in many societies. Racial classification also continues in many state practices in South Africa such as the collection of racial demographics though the national census, and through countless private and public officials reporting towards government-stipulated race-based employment acts. These classification practices raise contradictions for the constitutional goal of non-racialism in South Africa. South Africa has also signed and ratified the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Professional Interest/Pages/CERD.aspx), which aims to eliminate racial discrimination in member states. The convention, to which member states are legally bound, raises a number of pressing issues that, to date, are not present in a wider national debate on the continued use of race in South African state policy. For example, there is little recognition by the state of the difficulties associated with identifying a targeted group based on race, nor clarity as to whether these groups are identified through markers based on phenotype, or socio-economic or cultural differences. Nor is there open discussion on the use of terms such as fair and unfair discrimination and how they relate to terms such as distinction and differentiation (see Bossuyt 2000), and the legal consequences of using such terms.
to cheaper part-time workers, who find themselves seeking employment in a rapidly expanding service economy characterised by unstable, less secure work opportunities that generally offer lower wages even to those with higher education and experience
. 10.1017/CBO9780511487415 Hamilton , L. 2014 . Freedom Is Power: Liberty through Political Representation . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press . 10.1017/CBO9781107477698 Keynes , J. M. 1936 . The General Theory of Employment, Interest
wider society but also personally. People are usually protected from ‘traditional’ kinds of risks or ‘social risks’ (incapacity of employment because of old age, illness, and so on) by means of some institutional arrangement, which can take many forms
. Rick Turner had been critical of it in its draft stage, arguing that its employment of a consociational democracy approach appeared to ignore the problems of economic conflict almost entirely. Turner refused to identify himself with the Report in its
Institutions, Education and Elite Formation
in the territorial legislative assembly were colonial government employees. In other words, these elites largely depended for their livelihood on colonial government employment or patronage. In contrast, Gifford and Louis (1971) report that in the
Theoretical Debates on Agency
Sunday Paul Chinazo Onwuegbuchulam and Khondlo Mtshali
employment, improved prosperity and better social services’ ( Clark 2005: 10 ). This is what is mostly obtainable in many state-championed macro-economic strategies to poverty alleviation. Unfortunately, solely focusing on economic growth has its problems
consequences for all, including greater employment and more government revenue to fund public services. The motivation behind the intention to manipulate others has importance. Note that the motivation behind an intention to manipulate need not be disingenuous