Peacemaking through remaking: the international criminal tribunals and the political and social reconstruction of occupied Japan and Germany after 1945
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis analyses the processes through which the United States sought to influence the political and social reconstruction of occupied Japan and Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War. An important aspect of this was debate within the US over what kind of peace settlement to be imposed on the defeated states. The debate over whether this settlement should be harsh or more moderate involved different visions of the political and social reconstruction and futures of Japan and Germany. While both arguments shared the same basic aims of democratisation, deradicalisation, and demilitarisation, they different substantially on how to achieve these aims. One aspect of moderate plans was the establishment of international criminal tribunals to try the leadership of the defeated regimes deemed responsible for the atrocities committed. An important part of the prosecution arguments was the idea of the victimisation of the Japanese and German people by their own governments. This was an important part of moderate peace arguments and extended into the political and social reforms implemented during the occupations. This idea of victimisation was not only held by the Japanese and German people, but by the occupiers as well.