• Public Apologies, Accountability and Blame-acceptance

    We live in an ‘age of apologies’, in which governments and public sector organisations seek to atone to the public for past state wrongs. The delivery of apologies is not unique to states and state actors, however, but blame acceptance by non-state actors for past wrongs affecting the public remains comparatively understudied in the political sciences. Using the island of Ireland as a case study, this paper examines public apologies by paramilitary organisations for conflict-related harms, by religious organisations for institutional abuse, and by financial institutions for the 2008 economic crisis. The research forms part of an ESRC-funded major grant project concerning ‘Apologies, Abuses and Dealing with the Past’, in which the use of apologies by state and non-state actors in Ireland as a means of offering accountability, legitimacy and reputational preservation are examined. The quantitative and qualitative data gathered to date include an all-island survey, focus groups, and interviews, and examines public apologies from both recipient and provider perspectives.

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  • Northern Ireland: Dealing With the Past and Discussing the Future
    Chair: Dr. Alan Greer (University of the West of England)
    Specialist Group: Irish Politics
    Room: N36B
    Professor Feargal Cochrane (University of Kent), Professor Neophytos Loizides (University of Kent), Dr. Laura Sudulich (University of Kent), Dr. Edward Morgan-Jones (University of Kent) What are
    Northern Ireland Citizens’ Preferences for Border Arrangements
    after Brexit? Evidence from a Conjoint Survey Experiment
    Amanda Hall (University of St Andrews) The More They Stay the
    Same? Understanding Cycles of Violence in Northern Ireland
    Dr. Muiris MacCarthaigh (Queen’s University Belfast) The Role of Apologies in Dealing with the Past in Ireland

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  • Socio-Legal Studies Association

    SLSA Annual Conference

    Prof Kieran McEvoy, Prof Anne-Marie McAlinden and Dr Anna Bryson convened two panels on Apologies and the Past at SLSA’s annual conference at Bristol University.

    Project team members presented four papers: ‘Apology, Acknowledgement and the ‘Disappeared’ of Northern Ireland’ (Lauren Dempster); ‘Apologies and Institutional Child Abuse in Ireland’ (Anne-Marie McAlinden); ‘Apologies, Acknowledgement and the National Imagination’ (Kieran McEvoy) and ‘Hearing, Seeing, Believing: Public Perceptions of Apologies for Past Harms in Ireland’ (Anna Bryson).

    The team were joined on the panels by Dr Kevin Hearty, presenting on moral emotions and dealing with the past, and Dr Sarah Sargent, whose paper, ‘Sorry Not Sorry,’ addressed the Indian Child Welfare Act and the plight of indigenous children in the US.

    Please contact us for further information on any of the team’s contributions.