Apology and Reconciliation in International Relations: The Importance of Being Sorry

1st Edition

Christopher Daase, Stefan Engert, Michel-André Horelt, Judith Renner, Renate Strassner

Routledge
Published October 12, 2017
Reference - 306 Pages
ISBN 9781138558656 - CAT# Y380840
Series: Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics

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Summary

This book looks into the role and effects of public apologies in international relations. It focuses on two major questions - why and when do states issue apologies for historic crimes and how and under what conditions are these apologies successful in remedying conflictive relationships?

In recent years, we have witnessed an unseen popularity of apologies, with numerous politicians, managers and clergymen being eager to apologise and atone for the wrong-doings of their countries or institutions. Public apologies, thus, are a new and highly interesting, while nevertheless still puzzling phenomenon, the precise role and meaning of which in international politics remains to be explored. This book sets out to do exactly this. Focusing in particular on state apologies, it assembles twelve detailed empirical case studies which deal with the two questions raised above. In the first part, the case studies reconstruct the processes in which state representatives react to calls for public atonement, and in the second part the case studies explore the reactions to the apology and evaluate signs for its success or failure.

All case studies are based on a theoretical framework which is outlined in the introduction to the book and helps develop tentative assumptions about the emergence and the effects of state apologies, drawing on different strands of literature, such as political science, philosophy, sociology or psychology. This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of conflict reconciliation, international relations and transitional justice.

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