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15 - Culture and International History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Akira Iriye
Affiliation:
Professor of History, Harvard University
Michael J. Hogan
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Thomas G. Paterson
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
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Summary

In December 1978, at a gathering of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, I presented a paper titled “Culture and Power: International Relations as Intercultural Relations.” Then, ten years later, at the 1988 annual convention of the American Historical Association, I gave an address on the theme of “Internationalization of History.” These two essays were amalgamated into one and published in the June 1990 issue of the Journal of American History, under the title “Culture and International History.” That was the version that was included in the first edition of Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations.

Culture and international history – these two themes, it seems to me, have become ever more closely incorporated into the study of American foreign relations since the first publication of the above book. My 1978 and 1988 papers were in essence calls for adding a cultural dimension to the study of international relations and, at the same time, for internationalizing this field of inquiry through an active interchange among historians of different perspectives and backgrounds across national and regional boundaries. Nowadays it seems to be taken for granted that cultural relations and policies form an important part of any nation's foreign affairs and that historians from all countries share a commitment to open inquiry about the past on the basis of unrestricted access to information.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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