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The global age is distinguished by disobedience, from the protests in Tiananmen Square to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the anti-G8 and anti-WTO demonstrations. In this book, Raffaele Laudani offers a systematic review of how disobedience has been conceptualised, supported, and criticised throughout history. Laudani documents the appearance of 'disobedience' in the political lexicon from ancient times to the present, and explains the word's manifestations, showing how its semantic wealth transcended its liberal interpretations in the 1960s and 1970s. Disobedience, Laudani finds, is not merely an alternative to revolution and rebellion, but a different way of conceiving radical politics, one based on withdrawal of consent and defection in relation to the established order.
Adam Sitze meticulously traces the origins of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission back to two well-established instruments of colonial and imperial governance: the jurisprudence of indemnity and the commission of inquiry. This genealogy provides a fresh, though counterintuitive, understanding of the TRC's legal, political, and cultural importance. The TRC's genius, Sitze contends, is not the substitution of "forgiving" restorative justice for "strict" legal justice but rather the innovative adaptation of colonial law, sovereignty, and government. However, this approach also contains a potential liability: if the TRC's origins are forgotten, the very enterprise intended to overturn the jurisprudence of colonial rule may perpetuate it. In sum, Sitze proposes a provocative new means by which South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be understood and evaluated.
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