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Transitional JusticeNOMOS LI$
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Melissa S. Williams, Rosemary Nagy, and Jon Elster

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794661

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794661.001.0001

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Reparations as a Noble Lie

Reparations as a Noble Lie

Chapter:
(p.166) 6 Reparations as a Noble Lie
Source:
Transitional Justice
Author(s):

Gary J. Bass

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814794661.003.0007

This chapter discusses the reparation for people's deaths. In the aftermath of genocide, there is no such thing as adequate repair or reparation. Genocide and mass atrocity cannot be undone. Debra Satz notes that victims cannot really be made to forget grave harms by compensation. She uses the examples of disadvantaged children deprived of a college education, who may never fully develop their capabilities and may not fully grasp what it would be like to have gone to college. Furthermore, in cases of mass atrocity, the cruelty and indignity cannot be offset by money. While that may be literally true, the surviving victims need to live their lives. In order to do so, it is politically necessary to provide some measure of justice or reparation in order to mollify the victims enough that they will participate in the normal political life of their country.

Keywords:   reparation, genocide, mass atrocity, Debora Satz, justice

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