Join Countering Backlash for a seminar co-hosted by the Participation, Inclusion and Social Change Cluster at the Institute of Development Studies with Melanie Judge (UCT) and Dee Smythe (UCT), the Editors of ‘Unsettling Apologies’, Priya Raghavan (IDS) and Mark Walter (Sussex Law School)

There has recently been a global resurgence of demands for the acknowledgement of historical and contemporary wrongs, as well as for apologies and reparation for harms suffered.

Drawing on the histories of injustice, dispossession and violence in South Africa, this book examines the cultural, political and legal role, and value of, an apology. It explores the multiple ways in which ‘sorry’ is instituted, articulated and performed, and critically analyses its various forms and functions in both historical and contemporary moments. Bringing together an interdisciplinary team of contributors, the book’s analysis offers insights that will be invaluable to global debates on the struggle for justice.


  • 14 November 2022
  • 13:00–14:30 UK time


Tessa Lewin, Research Fellow, IDS


  • Melanie Judge, author and editor
  • Dee Smythe, author and editor
  • Priya Raghavan, discussant
  • Mark Walters, discussant

How to attend

  • In person in the Convening Space at the Institute of Development Studies
  • Watch on Zoom by registering below:

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  • Melanie Judge works with leading civil society organisations and multilateral institutions on strategy, policy and research for sexual and gender rights in Africa and is Adjunct Associate Professor in Public Law at the University of Cape Town.
  • Dee Smythe is Professor of Public Law and Director of the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town as well as a member of the Centro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento sobre Direito e Sociedade (CEDIS) at the Nova University of Lisbon School of Law.
  • Mark Walters is a Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology in Sussex Law School. His research interests are focused primarily on hate crime studies, as well as criminal law and criminal justice reform with a special emphasis on restorative justice practice and theory.
  • Priya Raghavan is a research officer in the governance cluster at IDS.
  • Tessa Lewin is a research fellow in the Participation, Inclusion and Social Change Cluster.