Van Assche, J, Roets, A, Haesevoets, T and Noor, M (2021) “Sorry for Congo, Let’s Make Amends”: Belgians’ Ideological Worldviews Predict Attitudes towards Apology and Reparation for its Colonial Past. International Review of Social Psychology, 34 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 2397-8570

[thumbnail of Van Assche, Roets, Haeseboets, & Noor, 2021 (IRSP) - Sorry for Congo.pdf]
Van Assche, Roets, Haeseboets, & Noor, 2021 (IRSP) - Sorry for Congo.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (417kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of 486-4047-1-PB.pdf]
486-4047-1-PB.pdf - Published Version

Download (893kB) | Preview


In light of the recent steps Belgium has made towards reconciling with its colonial history in Congo (e.g., the King’s letter of regret, and the removal of some colonial statues), we examined how Belgians differ in their attitudes towards an official apology, towards (symbolic) reparations (e.g., renaming streets), and towards raising more awareness about the colonial past (e.g., more detailed information in educational books) as a function of their ideological worldviews. We hypothesized that authoritarianism and group dominance would negatively predict these outcome variables, while particularly universal-diverse orientation and egalitarianism would predict them positively. We further hypothesized that these relations would be mediated by relevant intergroup emotions (i.e., group-based guilt, shame, and anger, and especially outgroup empathy). Path model analyses on a sample of 258 Flemish-speaking students provided support for our predictions: (1) universal-diverse orientation was the strongest predictor of all intergroup emotions, (2) empathy – and to a lesser extent group-based anger – were the strongest direct predictors of attitudes towards apologizing, reparation, and awareness, and (3) empathy was the most important mediator explaining the associations of universaldiverse and egalitarian orientations with the outcomes. We discuss the implications of our findings for the current debate regarding reconciliation between groups with a history of colonialism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See
Uncontrolled Keywords: ideological worldviews; intergroup emotions; repair; apology; awareness; Belgium; Congo
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 14:34
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 15:09

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item