Jennifer Lind


On her book Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics

Cover Interview of September 20, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“About what promotes international reconciliation.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Many countries have been able to reconcile with very little contrition or self-reflection about the past … contrition is highly controversial and likely to cause a domestic backlash that alarms—rather than assuages—outside observers.”

On the second:

“It is true that Germans engaged in profound—indeed, historically unprecedented—atonement.  But they didn’t start this right away—it was only after the Left took power in West Germany, in the mid-1960s.  The medicine that supposedly had cured the disease wasn’t applied until after the patient was healed.  Reconciliation came first—then atonement.”