Restitution and the Politics of Repair

Tropes, Imaginaries, Theory

Magdalena Zolkos

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Edinburgh University Press img Link Publisher

Sachbuch / Philosophie: Allgemeines, Nachschlagewerke


Analyses the social imaginary of undoing, repair and return underpinning the international norm of restitution-makingApproaches restitution not just as a legal norm of property return, but as a social imaginary and a cultural-psychoanalytic 'scene' of undoing, repair and returnBrings together philosophic-political, socio-legal and cultural-psychoanalytic approaches to the study of restitutionOutlines a heterogeneous and multifaceted idea of restitution emergent in modernity, and looks at the peripheries of the modern restitutive tradition in the search for alternatives and counter-traditionsThis book takes a unique approach grounded in political and cultural discourse to develop a political theory of restitution. Challenging assumptions about restitution in the Western legal and political tradition, where it has become nearly synonymous with reacquisition and where legal studies focus on material objects and claims to their ownership, Zolkos argues that the development of restitutive norms has been auxiliary to the emergence of modern state sovereignty, and excavates the restitutive tradition's mythical-religious substrate. Bringing together texts from within and outwith the Western canon of political theory and philosophy, including the writings of Grotius, Durkheim, Freud, and Klein, as well as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the book undertakes a dual task: reading literary texts as a political theorising of restitution, and reading political or sociological texts as literary narratives with distinctive 'restitutive tropes' of repair, undoing and return.

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Magdalena Zolkos