On structural injustice, reconciliation and alienation

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In Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics, Lu argues that justice and reconciliation are analytically distinct but both needed after political catastrophes like colonialism. I argue that Lu’s compelling reconceptualization of reconciliation precisely shows the contrary by making the project of reconciliation indistinguishable from the task of realising structural justice and that we should reject the language of reconciliation in some contexts. Moreover, I contend that, in an important sense, alienation (i.e., the wrong that, according to Lu, reconciliation aims to tackle) must be generated to move towards a structurally just world. Indeed, the project of creating a structurally unjust order does require the alienation of agents from the existing background conditions of their actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-537
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Issue number4
Early online date25 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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  • Structural injustice
  • alienation
  • decolonisation
  • reconciliation
  • settler colonialism

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