CFP: Reparations for Historical Injustice: What is Owed to the Victims of Injustices? (deadline: Feb. 28, 2023)

Call for Papers

Special Issue: “Reparations for Historical Injustice: What is Owed to the Victims of Injustices?”

Journal: Ethical Perspectives

Guest Editor: Santiago Truccone-Borgogno (University of Graz)


Are there reasons to redress historical injustices? If the answer is affirmative, how strong are those reasons? Any cursory examination of current public institutions or present holdings quickly reveals that many of them are partially the result of past injustices. Several modern states were founded on the enslavement and killing of indigenous and other populations, as well as the theft of their lands and property. Further, it was not until well into the 20th century that many of these same states granted women the right to vote and participate in politics. Although states may be able to render good conditions of life for a significant number of their residents, their institutions may be profoundly tainted, and many past injustices continue to affect currently living people. In the light of these considerations, redressing the past remains an important problem. However, on what grounds, if any, should justice be concerned about past injustice?

Ethical Perspectives invites contributions that engage with ideas and arguments that critically analyze and respond to the wide range of themes and perspectives on how to respond to historical injustices. Some questions that papers could focus on are:

  • ​​Does it matter if an existing disadvantage was caused by a past injustice?
  • What do contemporary actors owe to the victims of historical injustices? What can they be realistically expected to owe victims of past injustices?
  • If a group or individual was damaged through a past injustice but is now well-off, should justice be concerned with redressing the past injustice, or should justice only be concerned  with correcting the present disadvantage?
  • To what extent should justice be concerned with the structure of the relationship between parties and aims in reconciliation?
  • Is it morally relevant how victims respond to past injustices?
  • Do claims based on “historical injustice” give rise to strong claims today? Or is the language of “historical injustice” too backward-looking?
  • Does the fact that an injustice occurred in the past have independent normative relevance, or does it only have normative relevance if its legacies persist today?
  • Does the mere fact of having been benefited or enriched from historical injustices give rise to duties of reparation?
  • Are the duties of the beneficiary of past injustices limited to the disgorgement of the benefit unjustly acquired?
  • How could the supersession thesis be critically reconstructed, applied to empirical cases, and further criticized?
  • Do indigenous perspectives, ways of thinking and customs require us to approach the issue of justice in fundamentally different ways?
  • Is there any relationship between historical injustices and irregular migration?
  • Does the past impose limits upon current public institutions? Do historical injustices limit how public institutions should be designed?

Papers that address other, although similar, research questions are also welcomed.

Invited contributors include: David Miller, Linda Bosniak, David Heyd, Cara Nine, Daniel Loewe, and Margaret Moore and Michael Luoma.

Papers should be submitted by February 28, 2023, and should be between 6.000 and 9.000 words in length. Manuscripts must be adjusted to the Ethical Perspectives house style.

Expected date of publication: September 2023

Manuscripts are to be submitted by e-mail to and

All submissions will undergo a double-anonymous refereeing process. Please note that the journal’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor will have the final word on publication decisions.

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