Institutionalizing Reconciliation Between States: The Case of Germany and Poland
국가 간 화해의 제도화: 독일-폴란드 사례를 중심으로

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국제대학원 국제학과(국제지역학전공)
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서울대학교 대학원
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 국제대학원 국제학과(국제지역학전공), 2018. 8. 한정훈.
Conflicts between states based on past tensions are often observed, such as the issues between South Korea and Japan. However, at the same time, we also find former adversaries that have overcome their painful memories and are able to establish positive relations. Why are some countries able to reconcile while others are unable to?

The work presented here started from this simple question, and has tried to determine how reconciliations really work. To do so, a review on previous work on interstate conflicts and reconciliations was conducted and a case study was performed. Unlike how it is usually perceived, reconciliation between states is not an outcome from a specific bilateral agreement, such as a peace treaty, but more likely stems from a process that consists of several active cooperation and efforts upon a mutual understanding from both sides. Moreover, bilateral relations must first be structurally reestablished in order to facilitate the reconciliation. When the states successfully manage to institutionalize the reconciliation within the newly established structure, the former adversaries are able to become equal partners in the future towards an everlasting peace.

In this thesis, a case study on the German-Polish relations is carried out, and an analysis of the reconciliation process of the two states is performed. Firstly, both parties satisfied the preconditions for reconciliation, with numerous ritualized apologies over decades and the multilateral and bilateral treaty of 1990. Following this, the states made a legal foundation for the reconciliation signing of the treaty in 1991. Upon this treaty, various institutions were established, including the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, to implement the reconciliation between civil societies. The institutions have actively supported many programs and projects to enhance the mutual understanding between the governments and communities of the states. To determine whether the reconciliation has proceeded consistently with stability, one of the institutions has been selected and analyzed to determine its level of autonomy from the central governments. The chosen institution, The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, showed an elevated level of autonomy.

However, for case of the Korean-Japanese relations, both states only partially satisfied two preconditions for reconciliation, as the controversy regarding the official apology from Japan and the territorial dispute over Dokdo still exist. In contrast to Germany and Poland, the unsatisfied preconditions of South Korea and Japan have left both states unable to establish a solid legal foundation with related institutions in order to truly reconcile the two civil societies. Consequently, due to the lack of a proper structural foundation and mutual trust, the reconciliation between South Korea and Japan cannot be successfully facilitated, even to this day.
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)Theses (Master's Degree_국제학과)
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