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Sorry States


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About the Author

Jennifer Lind is Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College.


"States victimized by aggression often harbor resentment against the perpetrator, but can apologies by the latter lead to reconciliation and harmonious relations' Jennifer Lind focuses on political rather than cultural factors in her cogent analysis of remembrance and remorse. She finds that the issue is whether apologies by the aggressor can reduce the perception of threat by former victims. She concludes that this is possible, but recognizes that bilateral ties may also be improved in the absence of apologies, and that apologies can produce jingoistic backlashes in their own countries."-Choice "At a time when nations and societies around the world are engaging in remarkable new means to restore comity in the aftermath of violence and brutality, detailed and comparative studies of national successes and failures in reconciliation are sorely needed. Jennifer Lind's work will stand as a valued contribution in this humane project."-Journal of Japanese Studies "Sorry States is an extremely timely book, covering an issue of great importance for the international relations of East Asia (and beyond). Jennifer Lind has compiled all of the important statements on war responsibility and related issues by Japanese and German politicians and other elites, including not just the official statements and acts but also the backlash statements that have received media attention."-Leonard J. Schoppa, University of Virginia, author of Race for the Exits: The Unraveling of Japan's System of Social Protection "Is remorse the condition of reconciliation? With this original piece of scholarship, Jennifer Lind presents a more subtle argument. Yes, West Germany apologized profusely for Nazi atrocities, while Japan could never quite go beyond 'those unfortunate incidents.' As a result, Germany enjoys excellent relations with its neighbors, and Japan does not. Austria and Italy-Axis partners both-largely dodged their wartime responsibilities and still became respected members of the Western community. Neither have the United States and Britain apologized for Dresden, and yet they went on to enjoy warm relations with their wartime foes. Similarly, the Germans have not apologized to the French, their best friends in Europe. As it dissects these paradoxical outcomes, Sorry States makes a critical contribution to our understanding of comparative foreign policy and the politics of remembrance and reconciliation. It is a fine blend of good history and good political science."-Josef Joffe, Publisher-Editor, Die Zeit, Germany, and Senior Fellow, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

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