In this sweeping international perspective on reparations, Time for Reparations makes the case that past state injustice—be it slavery or colonization, forced sterilization or widespread atrocities—has enduring consequences that generate ongoing harm, which needs to be addressed as a matter of justice and equity.
Time for Reparations provides a wealth of detailed and diverse examples of state injustice, from enslavement of African Americans in the United States and Roma in Romania to colonial exploitation and brutality in Guatemala, Algeria, Indonesia, Jamaica, and Guadeloupe. From many vantage points, contributing authors discuss different reparative strategies and the impact they would have on the lives of survivor or descent communities.
One of the strengths of this book is its interdisciplinary perspective—contributors are historians, anthropologists, human rights lawyers, sociologists, and political scientists. Many of the authors are both scholars and advocates, actively involved in one capacity or another in the struggles for reparations they describe. The book therefore has a broad and inclusive scope, aided by an accessible and cogent writing style. It appeals to scholars, students, advocates and others concerned about addressing some of the most profound and enduring injustices of our time.
Part I. Addressing the Legacy of Slavery
1. Reparations for Slavery: A Productive Strategy?
2. Slavery, Universities, and Reparations
3. "Free Citizens of This Nation": Cherokee Slavery, Descendants of Freedpeople, and Possibilities for Repair
4. The Jamaican Case for Reparations Against the British Government for Slavery and Colonization
Bert S. Samuels
5. The University and Slavery: Reflections upon the History and Future of the University of the West Indies
Sir Hilary Beckles
6. French Justice and the Claims for Reparations by Slave Descendants in Guadeloupe
Mireille Fanon Mendes France
Part II. Reparations: Precedents and Lessons Learned
7. History on Trial: Mau Mau Reparations and the High Court of Justice
8. A Critical Assessment of Colombia's Reparations Policies in the Context of the Peace Process
Kathryn Sikkink, Douglas A. Johnson, Phuong Pham, and Patrick Vinck
9. Justice Beyond the Final Verdict: The Role of Court-Ordered Reparations in the Struggle for Indigenous Peoples' Human Rights in Guatemala
Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj and Aileen Ford
10. Colonial History at Court: Legal Decisions and Their Social Dilemmas
Nicole L. Immler
Part III. Outstanding Issues: Unrepaired State-Sponsored Collective Injustice
11. Unhealed Wounds of World War I: Armenia, Kurdistan, and Palestine
12. Nakba Denial: Israeli Resistance to Palestinian Refugee Reparations
Michael R. Fischbach
13. Repairing Colonial Symmetry: Algerian Archive Restitution As Reparation for Crimes of Colonialism?
14. The Romani Genocide During the Holocaust: Resistance and Restitution
Part IV. Ways Forward for Reparations
15. The Roma Case for Reparations
Margareta Matache and Jacqueline Bhabha
16. What Justice for Starvation Crimes?
Alex de Waal and Bridget Conley
17. Stopping the Crimes While Repairing the Victims: Personal Reflections of a Global Prosecutor
Luis Moreno Ocampo with the collaboration of Joanna Frivet
Mary T. Bassett
List of Contributors
"The past lives in the present of all of us who are the survivors and descendants of extreme forms of inhumanity, and how we deal with it varies in profound ways, from those who would rather forget to those who demand both moral and material remediation as well as full acknowledgement and restorative apology for past injustices. This volume thoroughly and expertly explores all aspects of this tragic problem, from the slow and swift genocides of slavery and Nazi extermination to the sustained, multifaceted crimes of colonialism, as well as the legal, political and other lessons learned in the struggle for remedial justice. The richly informed and powerfully argued chapters fully persuade the reader of the urgency of a movement that has lately gained renewed vigor as well as moral, legal and intellectual clarity and direction. Above all, the work makes clear that the reparation movement’s goals are not only those of acknowledging and rectifying past wrongs and of preventing future ones but, as the police killings of black Americans make clear, of alleviating the inherited evils of the past still active in our times."—Orlando Patterson, author of Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study
"Injustices carry consequences, and unaddressed injustices impose consequences that grow and compound, burdening individuals and societies for generations. Time for Reparations brings history, rigor, and imagination to prospects for reparative approaches to searing human rights wounds. This is the time, and here are viral roadmaps for constructive repair."—Martha Minow, author of When Should Law Forgive?