State Apologies and the Rehumanization of Social Groups

Workshop on Ethics, Rights, Culture and the Humanization of Refugees (Edmonton, Canada), February 7-8, 2020

14 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020 Last revised: 31 Jul 2023

See all articles by Reza Hasmath

Reza Hasmath

University of Alberta - Department of Political Science

Benjamin Ho

Vassar College

Solomon Kay-Reid

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Most state apologies are qualitatively about rehumanizing the apologizer and seldom the apologized social group, such as Indigenous, immigrant or ethnic minority cohorts. That is to say, the apology generally redeems, atones and/or restores trust in the state (the apologizer). Using historical and contemporary global case studies, this study bridges insights from the literatures about apologies, and truth and reconciliation, to discern best and worst communicative practices for state apologies that aim to rehumanize the social group. In this effort, the article poses three analytical queries: (1) How are state apologies different towards a social group when the explicit goal is to rehumanize the apologized? (2) What happens to the apologizer in such apologies? (3) What can be learned by jointly considering the literature on apologies, and truth and reconciliation, on how the state can communicate an effective apology?

Keywords: state apologies, dehumanization and rehumanization, truth and reconciliation, indigenous, immigrant and ethnic minority groups

Suggested Citation

Hasmath, Reza and Ho, Benjamin and Kay-Reid, Solomon, State Apologies and the Rehumanization of Social Groups (2020). Workshop on Ethics, Rights, Culture and the Humanization of Refugees (Edmonton, Canada), February 7-8, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3580978 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3580978

Reza Hasmath (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Political Science ( email )

10-10 HM Tory Building
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.rezahasmath.com

Benjamin Ho

Vassar College ( email )

124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
United States

Solomon Kay-Reid

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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