Category Politics

Gift Theory and the Settler State

French Anthropologist Marcel Mauss put gift theory into circulation long ago in 1923, but his ideas continue to make important contributions to contemporary studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Anthropology and, as I argue, Reconciliation Theory. Of special importance in Mauss’s work was his identification of “hau,” a “spiritual mechanism … which obliges us to make […]

RECONCILIAITON ≠ TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE (Part II)

The relation of transitional justice to contemporary reconciliation studies is an issue that requires much more attention. Some of the most recent examples of reconciliation (Australia and Canada) have not taken place inside of a transitional justice paradigm, but are the consequence of previously democratic states coming to terms with past crimes. Inasmuch as reconciliation […]

Reconciliaiton ≠ Transitional Justice

In tracing the legacy of reconciliation across Nuremberg, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Australia and Canada, there is at least one major difference in the latter two examples that demands explicit attention. Specifically, Nuremberg principles have traditionally been used to enforce measures of transitional justice for states beset by violence–the primary examples being El Salvador, Argentina, Chile […]

Andy Everson: Idle No More

The Unseemly Underbelly of Reconciliation

The following is excerpted from my current book project: Settler Reconciliation: Locating Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in “the new international morality”. Feedback and suggestions are welcome in the comments section below. Thanks for reading. This book is an examination and critique of reconciliation as it populates the post-Cold War landscape as an idealist politic. According to […]

sehtoskakew: “Aboriginal Principles of Witnessing” in the Canadian TRC

Witnessing and testimony are an essential component of every Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Canadian TRC is no exception. However, these key terms are ideologically loaded and have historically excluded Indigenous knowledge systems (for instance Delgamuukw v. British Columbia). While “Schedule ‘N’” (which contains the Canadian TRC mandate) gestures towards “Aboriginal principles of witnessing,” there […]

Teaching is not a Gift: Gift Rhetoric at the BCTF Bargaining Table

In light of the ongoing BC teachers’ strike, I thought it a relevant time to post this talk, which I originally gave at Brown University in 2011 (during another strike). In it I introduce the concept of gift economies, via Marcel Mauss and Pierre Bourdieu, and illustrate how the Liberal government mobilizes this rhetoric in order […]

Apology’s Worth It: How Canada Profits from Apology

We live in an “Age of Apology“. In a way that was unimaginable during the Cold War, “sorry” is now a primary element of intra-state politics. Some label the post-Cold War shift out of realpolitik as an indication of “the new international morality,” but apology is also a means for Nation States to recuperate and monetize “sorry”. The […]