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Sorry states : apologies in international politics

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dc.contributor.advisor Barry R. Posen. en_US Lind, Jennifer M., 1969- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science. en_US 2005-09-26T20:47:16Z 2005-09-26T20:47:16Z 2004 en_US 2004 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2004. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 419-436). en_US
dc.description.abstract Are apologies and other acts of contrition necessary to reduce threat and build trust between former adversaries? This has become an accepted conventional wisdom, despite the fact that the effects of contrition have not yet been tested. This dissertation outlines and tests an "apology theory" of international politics, thus contributing to debates within international relations theory about the role of intentions in threat perception between states, as well as to policy debates about the role of contrition in peace building. The apology theory posits that a state's "policies of remembrance" affect perception of its intentions in the eyes of other states, and thus influence the degree to which others see it as threatening. According to the theory, apologies foster perception of benign intentions and thus reduce threat perception. I test the apology theory in two empirical case studies: South Korean threat perception of Japan and French threat perception of Germany, both since World War II. To determine whether my findings appear valid in other cases, I conduct three "mini-cases": Chinese and Australian perceptions of Japan, and British perceptions of Germany. The study has three principal findings. First, the Japan case shows that denial of past violence (unapologetic remembrance) is pernicious for bilateral relations; it fuels distrust and increases threat perception between states. Acknowledgement of past violence is vital for former adversaries to establish productive and friendly relations. Second, the European case shows that moving beyond acknowledgement of past violence--undertaking extensive policies of contrition--yields little benefit. When the French discuss their perceptions of en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Germany, they emphasize factors other than remembrance. Third, moving beyond a basic acknowledgement of past violence to policies of contrition may actually be harmful for relations. The case of Japan suggests that policies of contrition can trigger domestic backlash, which in turn alarms observers. The potential backlash effect from contrition is an important finding for academic and activist literatures on post-conflict peace-building, which often recommend policies of contrition, but have neglected to consider its potential negative effects. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Jennifer M. Lind. en_US
dc.format.extent 436 p. en_US
dc.format.extent 29226375 bytes
dc.format.extent 29286435 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Political Science. en_US
dc.title Sorry states : apologies in international politics en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 57306592 en_US

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