Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144415
Title: Reconciliation in Settler-Colonial States: A Study of the Political Apology
Authors: CHONG XIN YU HANNAH
Issue Date: 2-Apr-2018
Citation: CHONG XIN YU HANNAH (2018-04-02). Reconciliation in Settler-Colonial States: A Study of the Political Apology. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Symbolic gestures have been dismissed in current literature as lacking efficacy in addressing historical injustices. This thesis corrects this misunderstanding by studying the political apology as a form of symbolic reparation. Rather than misconstrue these acts as being less efficacious than their material counterparts, this thesis understands both as being equally necessary in bringing about a holistic outcome. Analysing the role that the political apology plays in the reconciliation process, this thesis will rely on interdisciplinary scholarship and empirical examples drawn from Australia and Canada, two settler-colonial states that have employed this symbolic gesture in addressing past injustices. This thesis will first discuss settler-colonial historical injustices, drawing attention to their twin implications of irreversibility and continuity. Then, it will argue for the normative importance of non-assimilatory reconciliation in settler-colonial states and claim that it is a better alternative as compared to the complete decolonization proposed by post-colonial scholars. It then conceptualises the political apology in terms of its goals and the relevant yardsticks for appraising its efficacy. Arguing that the political apology opens dialogue through the three notions of acknowledgement, symbolic breaking, and inclusion, this thesis will demonstrate how it addresses settler-colonial implications through creating symbolic equity and representing a commitment to an end of injustice. The political apology is future-oriented; while it does not result in the immediate discontinuation of dominance, it symbolizes the guarantee that such circumstances are temporal. Building on that premise, it encourages other settler-colonial governments to utilise the political apology among other forms of symbolic reparations in bringing about non-assimilatory reconciliation between settler and indigenous communities.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144415
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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