ICJS Event: Jennifer Lind book talk "Sorry States - Apologies in International Politics"

Monday, November 9th, 2009
7:00 p.m. start (talk starts at 7:30 p.m.)
TUJ Mita Hall 502 (Access)
Jennifer Lind
Open to general public. You can purchase a bento and drinks at the convenience store next to the university.
Registration closed

About the Event

Jennifer Lind will discuss her book, Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics (Cornell University Press, 2008), which examines the role of war memory in international reconciliation. The post-World War II experiences of Japan and Germany suggest that international apologies have powerful healing effects when offered, and poisonous effects when withheld. West Germany made extensive efforts to atone for wartime crimes-formal apologies, monuments to victims of the Nazis, and candid history textbooks; Bonn successfully reconciled with its wartime enemies. By contrast, Tokyo has offered few and unsatisfying apologies and approves school textbooks that whitewash wartime atrocities. Japanese leaders worship at the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors war criminals among Japan's war dead. Relations between Japan and its neighbors remain tense.

However Lind challenges the conventional wisdom by showing that many countries have been able to reconcile without much in the way of apologies or reparations. Furthermore, she shows that contrition is highly controversial and likely to cause a domestic backlash that alarms--rather than assuages--outside observers. Apologies and other such polarizing gestures are thus unlikely to soothe relations after conflict, Lind finds, and remembrance that is less accusatory--conducted bilaterally or in multilateral settings--holds the most promise for international reconciliation.

Jennifer Lind is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government, Dartmouth College. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master’s in Pacific International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Lind has worked as a consultant for RAND and for the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense, and has lived and worked in Japan. Her current research interests include the resilience of the North Korean regime, planning for U.S. military missions in the event of North Korean collapse, and energy competition and its security implications for East Asia. Click here to learn more about Jennifer Lind.

About ICJS
The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.