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"From This Far Place": On Justice and Absence
W. JAMES BOOTH
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 105, No. 4 (November 2011), pp. 750-764
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23275351
Page Count: 15
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Addressing historic injustice involves a struggle against absence. This article reflects on the foundations of that challenge, on absence and justice. I ask what it means to address the absent victims of deadly injustice given the distance of time and death that separates us from them. This topic embraces a wide swath of events of interest to students of politics. Some are as recent as the Rwandan genocide; others are by now historical: the Holocaust or slavery in antebellum America. All have in common that they and their victims are distant from us, a separation that makes doing them justice deeply perplexing. In response, I sketch an argument that the absent victims of injustice are not nullities but retain a status, a presence as claimants on justice that defines our efforts to address the wrongs done them.
The American Political Science Review © 2011 American Political Science Association