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Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics Hardcover – Jul 31 2008


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From the Back Cover

"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

"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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jennifer Lind is Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Timely, original, and clear Oct. 27 2008
By Ryan Karr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As the international spotlight moves east towards Asia, Jennifer Lind provides an insightful look at how historical remembrance of war crimes plays a key role in East Asia and other regions. By contrasting the German-France post-WWII experience with that of Japan-Korea, the author points out a puzzle that goes against conventional wisdom: apologizing for war crimes won't necessarily improve relations with the victim nation, and it may be counter-productive. Meanwhile, states that are not contrite will most likely be viewed as threatening by its previous victims, as demonstrated by Lind in her analysis of the Japan-Korea case study. Thus, states that have committed war crimes in the past are faced with a conundrum: act contrite, and risk a counter-productive domestic backlash, or deny previous crimes and risk a foreign backlash.

This book is a great read for anyone interested in international relations, East Asia, or European reconciliation. Lind attacks the conventional wisdom and clearly shows how reconciliation is a tricky game to play. "Sorry States" is sure to satisfy not only respected IR scholars with well-organized, detailed analyses and theory testing, but also students of IR (like me) with clear and engaging discussion of one of the most important issues facing Asia today.
Five Stars April 14 2015
By Roger Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Toward the end repetitive, but totally educational. Worth every penny and time.
Buy it, Read it--No Regrets May 8 2015
By Robert J. Pekkanen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You will NOT be sorry you read this book--probing analysis by Lind.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Comparing German and French relationship with that of Japan and ... Feb. 2 2015
By ymgama - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Comparing German and French relationship with that of Japan and Korea is irrelevant. Germany and France fought several wars in the last few centuries to compete for the hegemony of European continent. Japan and Korea did not fight any war since these two countries opened the boarder for the western powers in late 19th century. Japan even fought the Sino-Japanese war in 1894 to secure independence of Korea from China. With the victory of the war, Japan signed Shimonoseki-Treaty with China and Korea became free of Chinese influence. The victory of Sino-Japanese war also changed the mindset of Korean intellectuals. This created a strong movement to be united with Japanese.
Professor Lind says that Japanese rule of Korean Peninsula was a brutal plundering. However, the study by a British scholar Alleyne Ireland in his book “New Korea” shows a very different view of Korea during the annexation. There has been significant misunderstanding and lack of discussion of Japanese rule of the Korean peninsula during the annexation not only in Korea, but also in Japan and other Western countries. I highlight some aspect of the Japanese rule of Korean Peninsula mentioned in “New Korea”.
The Colonial Government modernized the territories’ basic infrastructures and improved people’s literacy and their standards of living with the fund provided by the Japanese Government. Many dams, factories and buildings built during the annexation period are still used today. After World War II, Korea and Taiwan became two leading new economies based on the well-educated populace and infrastructure.
Professor Lind’s analysis and proposal for reconciliation is not relevant since her proposal is not based on the historical facts in Korea during the annexation.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
About what promotes international reconciliation Sept. 30 2009
By ROROTOKO - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Sorry States" is on the ROROTOKO list of cutting-edge intellectual nonfiction. Professor Lind's book interview ran here as cover feature on September 21, 2009.


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