Teaching the Concepts of Justice and Evil in Secondary Education

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskning


This paper asks how history in secondary education might cultivate the ethical and political compass of the students and help them think through the ethical and political questions of justice and evil in the contemporary world. The paper takes its point of departure in the field of perpetrator studies which is expanding rapidly, partly as a result of the dissemination of perpetrator bibliographies and fictional literature and partly due to the expanding sociological and historical literature on the aftermaths of mass atrocities and genocide. While there is an established consensus in perpetrator studies that it is counterproductive to present the perpetrator as radically evil, this paper suggests that evil might still be a productive ethical and political category for students to “think with” as long as it is adapted to the “banal evil” of the biopolitical regimes of our own time. The paper suggests that focusing on the figure of the “desk perpetrator” might help the students consider the evasion of ethical responsibility involved in following e.g. organizational procedures, rules and regulations.
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedNordisk historikermøde 2017 - Aalborg kongrescenter, Aalborg, Danmark
Varighed: 15 aug. 201718 aug. 2017


KonferenceNordisk historikermøde 2017
LokationAalborg kongrescenter