Political Economy of Forgiveness

Society, Vol. 44, No. 2, January/February 2007

7 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2010 Last revised: 26 Oct 2010

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

A successful transition involves balancing a decisive break with the previous regime with the simultaneous minimization of the costs associated with the administration of justice. Where the benefits of pursuing transitional justice outweigh the associated costs, the administration of justice is a net benefit and contributes to the overall transition to liberalism. However, where the costs outweigh the associated benefits, pursuing justice will have the counterproductive effect of damaging the likelihood of establishing a sustainable liberal order. In short, pursuing transitional justice is not an all or nothing endeavor but rather must be thought of in terms of marginal or additional units. The key question is: Does it make sense to invest additional resources in administering justice against members of the previous regime?

Keywords: Forgiveness, Economic Development, Political Economy

JEL Classification: O10, P16

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Coyne, Christopher J., Political Economy of Forgiveness (2007). Society, Vol. 44, No. 2, January/February 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1696112

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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