Transnationalism Bibliography

  • Gibney, M., & Roxstrom, E. (2004). The Status of State Apologies. Human Rights, 23-4 (Nov.), 911-939.
    Keyword(s): State

Question(s) addressed by the author and working arguments

While state apologies can play –arguably have already play- a role in the development of human rights standards, their importance should not be viewed in isolation not overstated in this regard.

Within the past few years there has been a spate of state apologies, as a number of governments have either acknowledge a previous wrong against some particular domestic group, or else the apology has been transnational in scope as one state has acknowledge doing wrong to another state, but really to the people of this other country. Rather, a wide array of religious and civic organizations, and even business enterprises, have started to issue their own apologies. Transnational state apologies could play a far more significant role in terms of developing new norms and standards.

We are led to believe that human rights are simply about the relationship between a citizen and his/her state. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. Human Rights treaties cannot be explained by any reason other than as a genuine concern for mankind at large.

One of the consequences of this approach is that international human rights law has tended to ignore the relationship between one state and citizens of other states.

Where the law on transnational state responsibility is the least developed is when the conduct of a particular state has more indirect effect on the human rights situation in another state.

It would be going too far to say that customary international law has emerged to the point where states are under a collective duty to intervene militarily in countries experiencing enormous levels of human rights abuses. A state that supports a repressive and murderous regime in another country has committed a “wrong,” it is “wrong” for states to sit by idly when and where genocide or other forms of gross and systematic human rights abuses are taking place.

Conceptual references to transnational – transnationalism

Transnational, transnational state apologies and transnational state responsibility.

Conclusions or Final Remarks

What state apologies have so often missed is that they are as much about looking forward as they are about looking backwards. Apologies are not so much about relations between peoples. And perhaps the importance of state apologies lies not only in the recognition of humanity of others, but also in an understanding of the inhumanity in ourselves.