Session Abstract: We are seeing today the growth of Conflict Resolution Study in Europe and the United States with a focus on the Middle East, Africa, and other areas that have experienced failing states due to ethnic conflicts and civil war. Conflict Resolution Study aims simultaneously at forging a consensus toward ending conflicts between the parties concerned and at healing the wounds of those who have suffered various forms of victimhood. The field has been extended to develop “Transitional Justice.” However, the “History Problem” in East Asia is showing signs of deepening confusion. As the universal value of human rights and dignity of women is pushed to the forefront of national and international discourse, we are ironically witnessing clashes of nationalism and deepening divisions within and between the region’s civic societies. “Reconciliation Study” in East Asia attempts to find a path toward cooperation in the protection of universal values, de-escalating emotional conflict and friction between the regional peoples and facilitating their coming together (or solidarity among individual citizens). This panel will examine: (1) the impact of the relatively recent experience of nation-building and the use of memory and universal values in this process upon the realities of democratic politics; (2) the role of historical memory in the democratization process; and (3) the structural resonance between international and domestic politics. Through the dialog we hope to uncover the problematic structure of the History Problem and establish a foundation of international reconciliation.
Paper Presenter: Tsuneo Akaha – Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Paper Presenter: Toyomi Asano – Waseda University
Paper Presenter: Ann Sherif – Oberlin College
Paper Presenter: Kijeong Nam – Seoul National University