Introduction: Transpacific Cold War Formations and the Question of (Un)Redressability
2016. "Introduction: Transpacific Cold War Formations and the Question of (Un)Redressability", Cold War Ruins: Transpacific Critique of American Justice and Japanese War Crimes, Lisa Yoneyama
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Redress efforts since the 1990s have brought significant challenges to post–World War II/Cold War institutional and epistemic formations. The introduction offers a new theoretical framework for analyzing this process. Transitional justice in the war’s aftermath (military tribunals and peace treaties) left many colonial elements intact under the transpacific Cold War order. Once situated in the trajectory of failed decolonization in Asia and the Pacific, it becomes evident that attempts to bring justice to the victims of Japanese and other related instances of military and colonial violence do not merely correct oversights in earlier redress efforts and war reparations. Rather, they challenge the very illegibility of violence and undressability sustained by the Cold War order. The introduction thus suggests various ways in which transborder redress culture exposes, questions, but sometimes also sustains the Cold War premises of historical justice, (non)rights to reparations, and the post–World War II nation-states system.