Forgiveness is important in international politics because it can save thousands of lives. Its opposite, vengefulness, has played a significant part in various wars of the 20th and 21st centuries. These conflicts are examined in this book, showing how forgiveness could have avoided the tremendous ensuing bloodshed.
Despite its importance, in the context of international relations, forgiveness as a means of preventing the outbreak of war (as opposed to facilitating reconciliation after conflicts) has largely been neglected as a subject of study. Indeed, it has also been ignored by politicians, as a result of which there are few examples of forgiveness to study compared with those of revenge. This book reflects this reality, but also seeks to change it by raising public awareness of the importance of forgiveness in international affairs and the need to demand that political leaders explore this avenue.
The book also provides a succinct, informative guide to the background of today's international affairs. Each chapter can be read independently and highlights either forgiveness in action or the futility and loss of life caused by vengefulness, demonstrating where and how forgiveness could have made a dramatic difference.
Audrey Wells is an Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway College University of London (UK) where she taught twentieth century history. Her doctorate was on Chinese political thought for which she studied at the London School of Economics and Ren Min University in Beijing. She is the author of books on Russia, China and International Relations.
Chapter 1. Forgiveness and Revenge.- Part 1. Forgiveness towards a Foreign Enemy and the Futility of Revenge.- Chapter 2. Robert Schuman, Forgiveness and the Founding of the EU.- Chapter 3. 9/11: the USA's Revenge on Afghanistan.- Chapter 4. Iraq 2003: Deluded Revenge.- Chapter 5. Libya and the West: A Cycle of Revenge.- Chapter 6. USA and Iran.- Chapter 7. Is America a Vengeful Democracy?.- Part 2. The West's Unforgiving Responses to Russia and China.- Chapter 8. Russophobia: the Ukraine Conflict, the Skripal Affair.- Chapter 9. Belarus: Forgiveness; Russophobia Impedes Mediation.- Chapter 10. Sinophobia.- Chapter 11. Political Vengeance has Harmed China's Development.- Part 3. Forgiveness between Ethnic Groups or to an Occupying Power.- Chapter 12. Mahatma Gandhi's Rejection of Revenge.- Chapter 13. Israel and the Palestinians: the Futility of Violent Revenge.- Chapter 14. Forgiveness and the Irish Conflict.- Chapter 15. Nelson Mandela: Faith, Force and Forgiveness.- Part 4. Forgiveness during or after Civil War.- Chapter 16. The Relevance of Forgiveness and Revenge to the Syrian Civil War.- Chapter 17. Forgiveness after Civil War: Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Colombia and South Sudan.- Chapter 18. A Leadership of Forgiveness.- Chapter 19. Political Apologies, Forgiveness and Reparations.- Chapter 20. The Limits of Forgiveness (1): Islamic Jihadism in Africa.- Chapter 21. The Limits of Forgiveness (2): Myanmar Under the Generals.- Chapter 22. The Forgiveness of Debts.
The Importance of Forgiveness and the Futility of Revenge
Case Studies in Contemporary International Politics