Political Reconciliation: With or Without Grand Narratives

Seminar with Nadim Khoury, University of Tromsø and Bjørknes University College

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00-15:30
Place: PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo

Political Reconciliation: With or Without Grand Narratives

You are kindly invited to a seminar with Nadim Khoury to discuss the philosophical foundations of political reconciliation. Comments will be given by Henrik Syse, PRIO.

The seminar is arranged by the Law and Ethics research group at PRIO and based on Khoury's forthcoming article "Political Reconciliation: With or Without Grand Narratives" to be published in Constellations. Coffee, tea and some sweets will be served. A limited number of places available.

Please note: Registration for this seminar is now closed.

Please find a summary and a link to the article below:

In this article, I offer a critique of our late-modern conception of reconciliation by contrasting it with the way the concept figures in prior accounts, namely Christian, Kantian, Hegelian, and Marxist. Given the immensity of the task, I do not delve into the details of each system, but provide a framework to contrast our late modern understanding of reconciliation with its previous accounts. What characterizes reconciliation today, I argue, is its resistance to grand narratives. This means that (i) it no longer subsumes conflicting stories into a universal history, (ii) it no longer seeks to explain or justify historical injustices, and (iii) it no longer provides a telos. In many cases, the resistance to grand narratives is justified, but entirely decoupling reconciliation from certain aspects of grand narratives is counterproductive. To do the kind of work reconciliation wants to do in our late-modern age, we should be aware of the dangers embedded within grand narratives, but also attuned to their potential; more specifically, their universal and teleological dimensions. 

Nadim Khoury is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway. He is also associate professor II in Peace and Conflict Studies at Bjørknes University College.