Why do states apologize?: a systematic study of inter-state apologies for war-crimes
Hussain, Muhammad Mohsin (2018) Why do states apologize?: a systematic study of inter-state apologies for war-crimes. [Thesis]
There are many cases of historical crimes between countries that continue to hurt inter-state relations. Apologies for historical crimes is one such post-conflict phenomenon that has received a lot of attention by scholars from various fields. However, studies investigating the conditions under which states apologize for historical crimes have not moved beyond a few country-specific cases i.e. German and Japanese apologies for World War II. My thesis aims to address this gap using a new dataset on which states apologized for war-crimes committed in the 20th century, and when these apologies were offered. In particular, I focus on economic incentives, leader ideology and culpability to explain inter-state apologies. I find that states which commit the most severe violations are more likely to apologize, among other factors. However, factors, such as the prospect of bilateral trade and shared religious preferences between two states are not related to apologies. Overall, the goal of my thesis is to clarify the circumstances under which states are able to move beyond historical crimes that harm their bilateral relations.
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