Only recently have international relations scholars started to seriously examine the influence of collective memory on foreign policy formation and relations between states and peoples. The ways in which the memories of past events are interpreted, misinterpreted, or even manipulated in public discourse create the context that shapes international relations. "Power and the Past" brings together leading history and international relations scholars to provide a groundbreaking examination of the impact of collective memory. This timely study makes a contribution to developing a theory of memory and international relations and also examines specific cases of collective memory's influence resulting from the legacies of World War II, the Holocaust, and September 11. Addressing concerns shared by world leaders and international institutions as well as scholars of international studies, this volume illustrates clearly how the memory of past events alters the ways countries interact in the present, how memory shapes public debate and policymaking, and how memory may aid or more frequently impede conflict resolution.
Eric Langenbacher is a visiting assistant professor and director of the honors program in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. Yossi Shain is Romulo Betancourt Professor of Political Science at Tel Aviv University and professor of comparative government and diaspora politics in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.