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Apology and Historical Memory: Navigating Crises in Sino-American Relations

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Abstract:

Why is apology—theoretically a simple action that could mitigate a crisis situation—not utilized more frequently in interstate relations? Apologies constitute a frequent issue among Asian countries as well as in the U.S.' bilateral relations and can generate significant internal and interstate debate. This project considers recent incidents in which China has requested an apology from the United States, and the short- and long-term impact on international peace and stability of such discussions. Two case studies will be investigated: the apology debates over the EP-3 incident of 2001, and the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade of 1999. Both cases involved significant interstate and domestic contestation over the form, content, and definition of apologies. Indeed, certain assumptions underpin predominant readings of such incidents—whether from a legal, diplomatic, realist, or political economic framework—and most of these interpretations do not take the importance of cultural processes into adequate account. Given that these states have had difficulty in constructing shared meanings of apologies, it will be necessary to examine common understandings of 'apologies,' and what they are thought to entail given past history. Close investigation might provide suggestions as to how such situations could be navigated more constructively in the future and thus will add to discussions of preventive diplomacy and crisis management.

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chines (101), china (88), american (72), apolog (62), u.s (56), 2001 (50), incid (36), state (35), prc (32), bomb (31), relat (31), case (31), 1999 (30), intern (28), new (25), one (25), nation (25), april (25), embassi (25), 3 (24), mani (24),
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Name: International Studies Association
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Dahl, Elizabeth. "Apology and Historical Memory: Navigating Crises in Sino-American Relations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Mar 17, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p74177_index.html>

APA Citation:

Dahl, E. S. , 2004-03-17 "Apology and Historical Memory: Navigating Crises in Sino-American Relations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p74177_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Why is apology—theoretically a simple action that could mitigate a crisis situation—not utilized more frequently in interstate relations? Apologies constitute a frequent issue among Asian countries as well as in the U.S.' bilateral relations and can generate significant internal and interstate debate. This project considers recent incidents in which China has requested an apology from the United States, and the short- and long-term impact on international peace and stability of such discussions. Two case studies will be investigated: the apology debates over the EP-3 incident of 2001, and the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade of 1999. Both cases involved significant interstate and domestic contestation over the form, content, and definition of apologies. Indeed, certain assumptions underpin predominant readings of such incidents—whether from a legal, diplomatic, realist, or political economic framework—and most of these interpretations do not take the importance of cultural processes into adequate account. Given that these states have had difficulty in constructing shared meanings of apologies, it will be necessary to examine common understandings of 'apologies,' and what they are thought to entail given past history. Close investigation might provide suggestions as to how such situations could be navigated more constructively in the future and thus will add to discussions of preventive diplomacy and crisis management.

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Associated Document Available Political Research Online
Associated Document Available International Studies Association

Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 23
Word count: 7487
Text sample:
International Studies Association Montreal 17-20 March 2004 “Apology and Historical Memory: Navigating Crises in Sino-American Relations” Elizabeth S. Dahl American University School of International Service esdahl@attglobal.net Work in progress comments most welcome do not quote Panel: Communication in Conflict and Conflict Resolution Chair: Lawrence C. Katzenstein University of Minnesota FB03 Friday 19 March 2004 ABSTRACT Why is apology—theoretically a simple action that could mitigate a crisis situation— not utilized more frequently in interstate relations? Apologies constitute a frequent issue
American Cultural Patterns: A Cross- Cultural Perspective. (rev. ed.) Yarmouth Maine: Intercultural Press 1991. Suettinger Robert L. Beyond Tiananmen: The Politics of U.S.-China Relations 1989- 2000. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press 2003. Tavuchis Nicholas. Mea Culpa: A Sociology of Apology and Reconciliation. Stanford: Stanford University Press 1991. Weston Timothy B. and Lionel M. Jensen eds. China beyond the Headlines. Lanham Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield 2000. Ying Ma. “China’s America Problem ” Policy Review 111 (February & March 2002): 43-56.


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