Restorative Justice and Conviviality in Intercultural Contexts

Di Brunilda Pali

In: Philosophical Insights for a Theory of Restorative Justice XLVIII , No. 2 ( 2019 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


Due to the rise of culturalised forms of politics, even the most ‘banal’ conflicts are increasingly being framed in Europe in cultural terms, and these framings are creating further divisions and proliferating sentiments of resentment, fear and anxiety. In this process, security – based mechanisms are created for social coexistence, endangering both justice and community. Whether real or imagined, cultural diversity introduces challenges related to security and justice. In their everyday conviviality, communities are increasingly prone to uncertainty with regards to the shared norms, values, feelings, languages, and it is these uncertainties that – if not worked with – can lead to social anxiety and withdrawal from communal life. In that regard, restorative justice philosophy which is based on participatory practices, encounters and dialogue, elaborating norms, restoring relations, building trust and promoting cooperation, has a huge potential to become a convivial project. The application of restorative justice in complex intercultural contexts that could be characterised by issues of social exclusion and intercultural tensions remains particularly underexplored. This paper repositions restorative justice as a fresh proposal to the security responses to intercultural contexts. The main argument is that for restorative justice, becoming a counter-security proposal means not giving up security but ‘doing security otherwise’. At the same time, in that process of restorative justice becoming a counter-security project, it also means simultaneously ‘doing justice first’.