Saturday, January 28, 2012


With a 169 km/h tailwind, the United Triple Seven literally blew out over the Japanese Sea (or the “East Sea” as the Koreans prefer to call it). In a little more than one hour, I will be touching down at Narita Airport for a week in the Japanese capital which will give some time to work on the paper that Anna and I are co-authoring for WPSA later this spring. The paper is on something we call “aspirational cosmopolitanism” and it basically means that, in our understanding, cosmopolitanism can never be a static end-state but must rather be interpreted as a dynamic process of negotiation, an existential inclination if you like, a continuous process by which we seek to confront our own partiality and parochial beliefs. More specifically, the paper deals with historical memory and how we relate to our collective past. While it is often acknowledged that failure to accept responsibility for historical wrongdoings may worsen a country’s relations with others (as vividly seen here in Asia with its many “history wars”), almost nothing has been written about what consequences this failure may have for the country itself and how it may prevent social learning and, ultimately, even block moral progress. In the paper, we want to look at this “internal” aspect and also discuss some encouraging examples (Germany in particularly comes to mind) for what it, in practical terms, can mean to take responsibility for one’s past.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home