Historical Conflict and Resolution between Japan and China: Developing and Applying a Narrative Theory of History and Identity

  • James H. Liu
  • Tomohide Atsumi


In the social science literature on peace-making, some scholars have found it useful to distinguish between conflict resolution and reconciliation (Nadler and Liviatan 2004). Conflict resolution involves formal or structural changes to intergroup relations, often initiated by leadership, in the form of signing and honoring peace treaties, maintaining regular exchanges of group representatives, transferring land or other assets (Pruitt and Carneval 1993). However, the formal cessation of hostilities (e.g., warfare) does not mean that the two groups have reconciled. Nadler and Liviatan (2004) argue that a reconciliation perspective defines “a conflict as ending once the parties have resolved the emotional issues that may have previously left them estranged” (p. 217). In their view, conflict resolution refers to the actual cessation of hostilities, whereas reconciliation refers to more psychological factors such as removing socio-emotional barriers and building trust. Reconciliation thus can be thought of as reducing or removing the potential for future conflict by changing the hearts and minds of the people.


Chinese Communist Party Collective Memory Liberal Democratic Party Narrative Theory Yasukuni Shrine 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Liu
    • 1
  • Tomohide Atsumi
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research, School of PsychologyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Communication-DesignOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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