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Global history or inter|nationalist discourse!?: Unsettling the 'comfort women' issue
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6815-5138
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Global historia eller inter|nationellpolitisk diskurs?! : Att närma sig debatten om tröstekvinnesystemet (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Survivors of the ‘comfort’ system, the state-sponsored regime of military sexual exploitation and a core institution in the expansion of the empire of Japan from 1932 to 1945, continue to go unrecognised almost 80 years past 1945 and 30 years after the breakthrough by human rights activists in 1991. That such a brutal regime of sexual exploitation remains unrecognised by the state is remarkable and merits attention. In this thesis, I suggest that the ‘comfort women’ issue remains stuck in a deadlock that freezes it in the inter-state framing of a status quo. As a result the comfort women, the survivors and supposed protagonists, are rendered as mere tiles in a series of inter-state conflicts between the State of Japan and its neighbours in Northeast Asia as one of the fiercest battlegrounds in this region’s ‘history wars’. My purpose in the thesis is to offer possibilities to rethink the comfort women issue beyond this deadlock. To this end, I (1) identify the dynamics that sustain and reify the deadlock (Paper 1 and Paper 2) and (2) unsettle these dynamics (Paper 3 and Paper 4). 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vaxjo: Linnaeus University Press, 2022. , p. 110
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 458
Keywords [en]
'comfort women', historical justice, human rights activism, populism, deadlock
National Category
History Globalisation Studies
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-115764ISBN: 9789189709249 (print)ISBN: 9789189709256 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-115764DiVA, id: diva2:1687528
Public defence
2022-09-12, H1211, Universitetsplatsen 1, Växjö, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-08-16 Created: 2022-08-15 Last updated: 2024-03-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Challenging 'Comfort Women' Discourse: Rethinking Intersections of Historical Justice and History Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging 'Comfort Women' Discourse: Rethinking Intersections of Historical Justice and History Education
2021 (English)In: Historical Justice and History Education / [ed] Matilda Keynes; Henrik Åström Elmersjö; Daniel Lindmark; Björn Norlin, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, p. 177-194Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As ‘comfort women’ are omitted from history textbooks, the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace in Tokyo remains the only permanent educational venue about the ‘comfort system’ in Japan. Meanwhile, the influential Yasukuni Shrine with its adjacent Yūshūkan War Memorial Museum, also in Tokyo, continues to deny ‘comfort system’ history. While ‘comfort women’ discourse organises these two museums as competitors over history, this chapter scrutinises the claims that are made in each museum and concludes by suggesting that ‘comfort system’ history can co-exist with official mourning in one history if mourning is disentangled from bereavement, since bereavement, but not mourning, enables the ideological appropriation of the war-dead that forms the core of the militarism advocacy that denies ‘comfort system’ history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-109945 (URN)10.1007/978-3-030-70412-4_9 (DOI)2-s2.0-85161144934 (Scopus ID)9783030704117 (ISBN)9783030704124 (ISBN)
Available from: 2022-01-29 Created: 2022-01-29 Last updated: 2023-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Anna-Karin

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Citation style
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf