Some scholars have stated that an “age of apology” began in the 1990s (Brooks 1999: 3)—that apologies now are considered standard and beneficial practice in business, domestic politics, and international affairs. Some praise this trend, seeing it as a sign that a new space has opened up in the post-Cold War world for moral concerns and “national self-reflexivity” (Barkan 2000: xvii).1 Such scholars and other commentators see a great deal of potential in apology to change relationships for the better.2 While more discussions public apologies occurred in the 1990s,3 however, it is unclear what this change means. After all, despite the increase in discussion, official apologies remain relatively rare, particularly regarding thorny historical issues (such as the Japanese regarding their imperial period or the United States regarding slavery).
Dahl, Elizabeth S.
"Sites of Contestation: What Apology Debates Tell Us about International Relations: Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics; Troubled Apologies among Japan, Korea, and the United States,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 3, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol3/iss1/7