The inability to accept the past by Japanese leaders stands in stark contrast to Germany’s clear acknowledgment of its responsibility for the Holocaust. The deep layers of reconciliation Germany developed with France, Poland, Israel, and the Czech Republic stand in contrast to Japan’s apologies to its neighbors, which have been thin, intermittent, and devoid of follow-up in bilateral policies toward China and South Korea that show a genuine desire to make amends. Germany’s experience—apologize, offer compensation, build other relationship—can serve as a guideline for continuing reconciliation in East Asia.

Comparing reconciliation politics of different states helps us to understand better the reasons why reconciliation, i.e., the process of normalization of bilateral relations after conflict between former perpetrator and victim states, is or is not taking place.  In order to gain valid insights, a rigorous analytical framework is needed which can be applied to all …Read More

The Many Levels of Reconciliation  The award of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has focused attention on how governments in Europe have built lasting reconciliation.  Studies of reconciliation have also addressed the critical, catalytic role of societal groups in bringing about and maintaining reconciliation.  Much less attention has been paid to …Read More

In this latest installment of the AICGS At Issue Interview Series, AICGS President Jack Janes sat down with Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman, Harry and Helen Gray Senior Fellow and Director of the Society, Culture & Politics Program at AICGS, and Thomas Matussek, Head of Public Affairs at Deutsche Bank and Germany’s former Ambassador in London, to …Read More

The response to the Nobel committee awarding this year’s peace prize to the European Union has been a mixed bag − and predictably so. The cynics pointed to the struggles of the EU to maintain momentum, as well as relative calm at times, amidst the strife over the euro. Those more positively inclined saw the …Read More

AICGS and BakerHostetler LLP are pleased to host a reception celebrating Lily Gardner Feldman’s recently published book, “Germany’s Foreign Policy of Reconciliation: From Enmity to Amity” on October 25, 2012. The Honorable Thomas Matussek, Former German Ambassador to the United Nations and current Head of Public Affairs for Deutsche Bank AG, will the guest speaker, along with Rabbi Andrew Baker of the American Jewish Committee and Professor Gunther Hellmann of Goethe University in Frankfurt.

Watching the celebration of Franco-German friendship this past week in Ludwigsburg should give anyone a reason to believe in the power of reconciliation in international affairs. Both Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande testified to the singular importance of this particular bilateral relationship as both a symbol and an example of overcoming the dangers of war …Read More

On September 24, 2012, AICGS hosted the discussion “Memorializing the Past: Governmental Actors in German-Polish and Japanese-South Korean Reconciliation” with Dr. Seunghoon Emilia Heo and Alexander Wochnik, Harry and Helen Gray Reconciliation Fellows. They presented their work on case study comparisons of German-Polish and Japanese-South Korean reconciliation in terms of religious actors and domestic structures, respectively.

Everyone knows what the term “reconciliation” means, but few can provide a proper answer to the question, “Have Korea and Japan achieved reconciliation?” This irony arises partly from the conceptual definition of “reconciliation,” but it also springs from considering reconciliation to be a single fixed state.

Seunghoon Emilia Heo joined AICGS as a Reconciliation Fellow in August and September 2012. She is a JSPS Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo with joint affiliation at the United Nations University’s Institute for Sustainability and Peace. Heo’s main interests include interstate reconciliation, regional cooperation, intercultural dialogue, religious diversity and identity politics. She recently published …Read More

The German Marshall Fund and AICGS are hosting a lunchtime presentation with Mr. Walther Leisler Kiep to discuss his new memoir. In it, Mr. Kiep speaks of his life in politics as Treasurer of the Christian Democratic Union, as Minister of Finance in Lower Saxony, and as a member of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board. As the longtime chairman of Atlantic Brücke and as a key player in German-American relations, Mr. Kiep will discuss the evolution of German-American relations over the span of his long career, as well as his view of its current state.

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