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World Politics

Vol. 63, No. 4

October 2011

Reconciliation and the Remaking of Anarchy
By Shiping Tang
For years, mainstream international relations (IR) theorists have essentially ignored reconciliation as a special—and perhaps the most difficult—form of cooperation building in international politics. This review article seeks to make the study of reconciliation a more visible field for further inquiry in IR, comparative politics, and sociology for both theoretical and practical reasons. After summarizing important themes emerged from the recent literature on reconciliation, the author addresses four issues for understanding interstate reconciliation: the interplay of group emotions and group politics, the interplay of domestic politics and international politics, the institutionalization of memories, and methodological issues. Better understanding of these issues also contributes to broadening the scope of inquiry in IR, comparative politics, and the sociology literature.

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