War, Guilt, and World Politics After World War II
By: Thomas U. Berger (author)Hardback
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When do states choose to adopt a penitent stance towards the past? When do they choose to offer apologies for historical misdeeds, offer compensation for their victims and incorporate the darker sides of history into their textbooks, public monuments and museums? When do they choose not to do so? And what are the political consequences of how states portray the past? This book pursues these questions by examining how governments in post-1945 Austria, Germany and Japan have wrestled with the difficult legacy of the Second World War and the impact of their policies on regional politics in Europe and Asia. The book argues that states can reconcile over historical issues, but to do so requires greater political will and imposes greater costs than is commonly realized. At the same time, in an increasingly interdependent world, failure to do so can have a profoundly disruptive effect on regional relations and feed dangerous geopolitical tensions.
Thomas U. Berger is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Boston University. He is the author of Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan and of Redefining Japan and the U.S.-Japan Alliance and co-editor of Japan in International Politics: Beyond the Reactive State. He has published extensively on issues relating to East Asian and European international relations, including essays that have appeared in International Security, the Review of International Studies, German Politics and Asian Security. His primary research areas include international security, international migration and the politics of memory and historical representation. Prior to joining the faculty at Boston University in 2001, he was an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University. He has held a number of postdoctoral and research fellowships, including the Harvard Academy Junior Researcher Fellowship, the Olin Postdoctoral Fellowship in International Security Studies, as well as Fulbright, Japan Foundation, MacArthur and DAAD doctoral research fellowships. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT and his BA from Columbia College.
1. Politics and memory in an age of apology; 2. Germany: the model penitent; 3. Austria: the prodigal penitent; 4. Japan: the model impenitent?; 5. Asia: the geopolitics of remembering and forgetting: towards an expanded model; 6. Conclusions: the varieties of penitence.
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- ID: 9781107021600
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