Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Overcoming Historical Injustices
Land Reconciliation in South Africa
South Africa Edition

Part of Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology

  • Publication planned for: August 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521144407


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

Please email to enquire about an inspection copy of this book

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Overcoming Historical Injustices is the last entry in Gibson's 'overcoming trilogy' on South Africa's transformation from apartheid to democracy. Focusing on the issue of historical land dispossessions - the taking of African land under colonialism and apartheid - this book investigates the judgements South Africans make about the fairness of their country's past. Should, for instance, land seized under apartheid be returned today to its rightful owner? Gibson's research zeroes in on group identities and attachments as the thread that connects people to the past. Even when individuals have experienced no direct harm in the past, they care about the fairness of the treatment of their group to the extent that they identify with that group. Gibson's analysis shows that land issues in contemporary South Africa are salient, volatile, and enshrouded in symbols and, most important, that interracial differences in understandings of the past and preferences for the future are profound.

    • Based on interview data from a large, nationally representative sample of South Africans conducted in seven South African languages
    • Applies sophisticated theories of group attachments and identities to the politics of land, considering the political implications of land ownership
    • Employs experiments embedded within a nationally representative survey, allowing causal inferences
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Gibson's study is ambitious and compelling, not least because it interrogates how different forms of justice relate to one another and figure in South Africans' attitudes towards particular conflicts … Overcoming Historical Injustices sets a high bar for the quantitative study of how the purported beneficiaries of transitional justice view the problems the field seeks to address, and how this relates to factors such as identity.' Megan Bradley, The International Journal of Transitional Justice

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Publication planned for: August 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521144407
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 29 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Land reconciliation and theories of justice, past and present
    2. Naming, blaming, and claiming on historical land injustices: the views of the South African people
    3. Group identities and land policy preferences
    4. Applied justice judgments: the problem of squatting
    5. Judging the past: historical versus contemporary claims to land
    6. Land reconciliation and theories of justice
    Appendix A. A note on race in South Africa
    Appendix B. The survey methodology
    Appendix C. The questionnaire.

  • Author

    James L. Gibson, Washington University, St Louis
    James L. Gibson is currently the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government at Washington University in St Louis. Gibson has published more than 100 refereed articles and chapters, in a wide range of national and international social-scientific journals, including all of the leading political science journals. He has also published five books, including the award-winning Overcoming Apartheid: Can Truth Reconcile a Divided Nation? and Citizens, Courts, and Confirmations: Positivity Theory and the Judgments of the American People (co-authored with Gregory A. Caldeira, forthcoming). Gibson has served as the President of the Midwest Political Science Association and as an officer of the American Political Science Association. His research has been recognized with numerous awards. Gibson's overall research agenda on democratization was recognized with the 2005 Decade of Behavior Research Award.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.