Power and the Past
Collective Memory and International Relations
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Georgetown University Press
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Introduction: Twenty-first-Century Memories
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Collective memories have long influenced domestic politics and especially international affairs—a fact most recently exemplified by the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The events and the memories resulting from them became powerful motivating forces for Americans almost overnight. At home, an...
1. Collective Memory as a Factor in Political Culture and International Relations
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For years, observers have identified a so-called memory boom among scholars and in many societies worldwide—a boom that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have only intensified.1 In some countries the memory of traumatic events is still raw, and processes of settling accounts linger in the current political...
2. Germany’s National Identity, Collective Memory, and Role Abroad
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During soccer’s 2008 European Cup, many German fans waved their flags jubilantly after the national team’s victories—continuing a new patriotic tradition that was especially pronounced during the 2006 World Cup of soccer hosted in Germany and in which the national team made it to the semifinals. Both times, it was difficult...
3. Collective Memory and German–Polish Relations
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There are few other countries today whose perceptions of each other, bilateral relations, and foreign policies are as beholden to historical legacies and collective memories as Poland and Germany. As Oliver Schmidtke writes: ‘‘It is difficult to imagine finding a similar case in Europe, in which the relationship between two...
4. Building Up a Memory: Austria, Switzerland, and Europe Face the Holocaust
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A unique conference took place in Stockholm at the end of January 2000. Forty-three heads of states and foreign ministers, together with world leading historians and educators, gathered for three days to discuss education and commemoration of the Holocaust. The eight hundred journalists who joined U.S. president Bill Clinton...
5. Memory, Tradition, and Revival: Who, Then, Speaks for the Jews?
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After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as at many other moments in history, a specifically ‘‘Jewish’’ dimension has arisen. Beyond the shockingly persistent rumors of some kind of Israeli–Jewish conspiracy behind the attacks in the first place, the policy aftermath—especially the global war on terror and the...
6. September 11 in the Rearview Mirror: Contemporary Policies and Perceptions of the Past
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At the end of the last century several books were published reviewing the past hundred years and making predictions about the future. Historians naturally participated both in the summing up and in the more tentative forecasts. Not surprisingly, historians are much better qualified to analyze the events of yesteryear...
7. The Eventful Dates 12/12 and 9/11: Tales of Power and Tales of Experience in Contemporary History
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The title of this chapter may puzzle the reader. My purpose is to juxtapose the historical impact of events that took place on two highly significant dates in the recent past. Then I raise what I hope will be a few provocative suggestions about what we might think about what occurred—especially with regard to American identity...
8. The Use and Abuse of History in Berlin and Washington since 9/11: A Plea for a New Era of Candor
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Now that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, are almost ten years in the past, it may be illuminating to elaborate on three hypotheses concerning the relationship between collective memory and the lessons of the past, on the one hand, and the foreign policies of the United States and the major European powers, especially...
9. Of Shrines and Hooligans: The Structure of the History Problem in East Asia after 9/11
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In the early years of the twenty-first century, as the world confronts terrifying new security threats in the shape of international terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international relations in East Asia remain mired in disputes over the past. At the soccer final of the Asian games in August 2004, the Chinese government...
10. Popular Culture and Collective Memory: Remembering and Forgetting in Chinese–U.S. Relations after 9/11
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On the morning of September 11, 2001, where in the United States was the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Yang Jiezhi? He was in Salt Lake City, previewing, among other things, preparations for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Standing side by side, the ambassador and I watched CNN in disbelief and horror as the World...
Conclusion: Collective Memory and the Logic of Appropriate Behavior
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Several common themes and conclusions have emerged from the contributions assembled in this volume. First, and perhaps not surprisingly, collective memories emerge in a variety of cultural and national contexts to greatly influence various foreign policies, bilateral relationships, and international affairs. Nevertheless, the ways...
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2010