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Negative Emotions and Transitional Justice

Negative Emotions and Transitional Justice (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Vehement resentment and indignation are pervasive in societies emerging from dictatorship or civil conflict. How can institutions channel these emotions without undermining the prospects for democracy? Emphasizing the need to recognize and constructively engage negative public emotions, Mihaela Mihai contributes theoretically and practically to the growing field of transitional justice. Drawing on an extensive philosophical literature and case studies of democratic transitions in South Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe, her book rescues negative emotions from their bad reputation and highlights the obstacles and the opportunities such emotions create for democracy. By valorizing negative emotions, either through the judicial review of transitional justice bills or the criminal trials of victimizers, institutions realize the value of respect and concern for all while contributing to a culture that is hospitable to democracy.

Mihaela Mihai is Senior Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. She is the coeditor of On the Uses and Abuses of Political Apologies (2014) and Reclaiming Democracy: Judgment, Responsibility, and the Right to Politics (2015).

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