War, Guilt, and World Politics after World War II

War, Guilt, and World Politics after World War II

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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 2 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • 1139512552
  • 9781139512558

Table of contents

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.show more

About Thomas U. Berger

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.show more

Review quote

'Berger's study focuses on one particular aspect of war guilt, namely the construction of an official narrative by the state in Germany, Austria and Japan to deal with economic, political, security and moral issues that arose as a consequence of their role in WWII. Berger proposes a methodological approach that makes use of historical determinism, instrumentalism and culturalist explanations in an eclectic manner ... Berger's comparative approach forms a valuable contribution that may also trigger further new research on the issues of war, guilt and penitence by other countries and in other parts of the world.' Kurt W. Radtke, The Sungkyun Review '... [an] exceptionally thoughtful and useful book ...' Wilfred M. McClay, Books and Cultureshow more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
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4 62% (5)
3 12% (1)
2 12% (1)
1 0% (0)
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