Power and the Past

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240 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781589016408 (1589016408)

ISBN: 9781589016613

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January 2010
LC: 2009024106


Table of Contents
Press Release

Power and the Past
Collective Memory and International Relations
Eric Langenbacher and Yossi Shain, Editors

Only recently have international relations scholars started to seriously examine the influence of collective memory on foreign policy formation and relations between states and peoples. The ways in which the memories of past events are interpreted, misinterpreted, or even manipulated in public discourse create the context that shapes international relations.

Power and the Past brings together leading history and international relations scholars to provide a groundbreaking examination of the impact of collective memory. This timely study makes a contribution to developing a theory of memory and international relations and also examines specific cases of collective memory's influence resulting from the legacies of World War II, the Holocaust, and September 11. Addressing concerns shared by world leaders and international institutions as well as scholars of international studies, this volume illustrates clearly how the memory of past events alters the ways countries interact in the present, how memory shapes public debate and policymaking, and how memory may aid or more frequently impede conflict resolution.

Eric Langenbacher is a visiting assistant professor and director of the honors program in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

Yossi Shain is Romulo Betancourt Professor of Political Science at Tel Aviv University and professor of comparative government and diaspora politics in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.
"This remarkable collection of essays shows that it is possible to treat a complex, delicate and controversial subject with, at the same time, subtlety, sensitivity and iconoclasm. . . . The book deepens our understanding of problems linked to the presence in international relations of a past which refuses to go away."—Survival

"This collection features some of the most intelligent, articulate, and accessible scholarship on the crucial issue of memory's profound role in shaping key aspects of contemporary politics, both domestic and foreign, all over the world. A must read for academics and practitioners!"—Andrei Markovits, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies, The University of Michigan

"By bringing the concept of collective memory to international relations, this book offers a highly distinctive and cutting-edge approach. It will provide a great resource for students interested in the way the past is used to shape the international present."—Ruth Wittlinger, School of Government and International Affairs, University of Durham, UK

"By focusing on the relationship between collective memory and international affairs, this excellent volume fills a glaring lacuna. In a series of comparative case studies, its authors skillfully demonstrate that collective memory is divided, contested, and multi-faceted. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the past's indelible imprint on the present."—Lily Gardner Feldman, Harry & Helen Gray Senior Fellow, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, The Johns Hopkins University

"This collection of interdisciplinary scholarship cuts new ground as it shows how collective memories shape international relations. [The book] furthers debates between constructivists and realists in international relations and demands yet again, that international relations scholars begin to engage culture more directly."—Mark Wolfgram, Oklahoma State University-Stillwater

Table of Contents
Introduction: Twenty-first-Century Memories
Eric Langenbacher and Yossi Shain

1. Collective Memory as a Factor in Political Culture and International Relations
Eric Langenbacher

2. Germany's National Identity, Collective Memory, and Role Abroad
Bettina Warburg

3. Collective Memory and German-Polish Relations
Eric Langenbacher

4. Building Up a Memory: Austria, Switzerland, and Europe Face the Holocaust
Avi Beker

5. Memory, Tradition, and Revival: Who, Then, Speaks for the Jews?
Ori Z. Soltes

6. September 11 in the Rearview Mirror: Contemporary Policies and Perceptions of the Past
Omer Bartov

7. The Eventful Dates 12/12 and 9/11: Tales of Power and Tales of Experience in Contemporary History
Michael Kazin

8. The Use and Abuse of History in Berlin and Washington Since 9/11: A Plea for a New Era of Candor
Jeffrey Herf

9. Of Shrines and Hooligans: The Structure of the History Problem in East Asia after 9/11
Thomas U. Berger

10. Popular Culture and Collective Memory: Remembering and Forgetting in Chinese—U.S. Relations after 9/11
Gerrit W. Gong

Conclusion: Collective Memory and the Logic of Appropriate Behavior
Yossi Shain