January, 2007

Political Economy of Forgiveness

  • Peter J. Boettke

    Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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A successful transition involves balancing a decisive break with the previous regime with the simultaneous minimization of the costs associated with the administration of justice. Where the benefits of pursuing transitional justice outweigh the associated costs, the administration of justice is a net benefit and contributes to the overall transition to liberalism. However, where the costs outweigh the associated benefits, pursuing justice will have the counterproductive effect of damaging the likelihood of establishing a sustainable liberal order. In short, pursuing transitional justice is not an all or nothing endeavor but rather must be thought of in terms of marginal or additional units. The key question is: Does it make sense to invest additional resources in administering justice against members of the previous regime?

Read the full article at SpringerLink and SSRN.com.

Citation (Chicago Style): Boettke, Peter J. and Coyne, Christopher J., Political Economy of Forgiveness (2007). Society, Vol. 44, No. 2, January/February 2007.