This essay is an analysis of the 2005 paper, by Janna Thompson, “Apology, justice and respect: a critical defence of political apology.” A paper presented at the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics 12th Annual Conference, Adelaide, September 28–30. This paper can be found at http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/gig/aapae05/documents/thompson.pdf.
This paper critically evaluates the importance of negotiations and expansive discourse in framing apologies, especially in a political and diplomatic context. Focusing on two relevant Sino-American issues, viz. the 1999 bombing at the Belgrade Chinese embassy by US aircraft and the 2001 airplane collision between a Chinese fighter jet and an American spy plane, the author evaluates pragmatism in diplomatic apologies, with specific reference to the US apology to China during these two events.
Methodology and Objectives
This study was based on off-the-record interviews that were conducted in late 2001 with four anonymous US State Department officials who were involved in public negotiations of the US apologies. The author writes that his aim in carrying out these interviews was threefold. Firstly, he wished to clarify the intricacies of international diplomatic apologies. Secondly, he intended to “probe” the opinions of official diplomats on such apologies. Finally, he aimed that this study would contribute to a greater understanding of the characteristics of diplomatic apologies and the pragmatics involved therewith.
Through this study, the author puts forth the fact that most political apologies are framed in such a way that both the nations’ real political goals are achieved. For carrying out an act ...
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Strongman, L. 2011. ‘What on earth?’: Understanding ambiguity toleration in business communication. PRism 8(1): 1-14, accessed August 10, 2011, http://www.prismjournal.org/fileadmin/8_1/Strongman.pdf.
Thompson, Janna. 2005. “Apology, justice and respect: a critical defence of political apology.” Paper presented at the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics 12th Annual Conference, Adelaide, September 28–30. Accessed August 10, 2011. http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/gig/aapae05/documents/thompson.pdf.
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