Cambridge University Press this year will publish The Politics of Official Apologies by Melissa Nobles, Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT. Some idea of where she is coming from, as well as a reminder to us that we are not entirely unique here in Australia, may be gathered from this interview:
Within two years of the publication of Shades of Citizenship, you were looking at the issue of reparations and what you call “official apologies.” Did the official apologies focus grow out of the reparations debate?
Actually, it’s the other way around. In 1998, I read an article on the front page of the New York Times that the Canadian government was apologizing to the indigenous population. And I asked myself, “What does that mean? What are the politics of that? And will it matter?” And then, in 1999, there was a huge debate in Australia about whether the government should apologize to its aboriginal people. So I thought, “Hmm, something’s going on here.” Read the rest of this entry »