Skip to main content
Support
Event

Cold War Democracy: The United States and Japan

Has American foreign policy been a reflection of a desire to promote democracy, or a simple product of hard-nosed geopolitics? In this talk, Jennifer Miller argues that democratic ideals were crucial, but not in the way most defenders claim. Focusing on the postwar occupation of Japan, she examines how the Cold War produced a new understanding of democracy as rooted in psychologies and mentalities. This vision motivated American efforts to democratize postwar Japan, yet also facilitated America’s rapprochement with the political and military leaders that once led Japan’s brutal war.

Date & Time

Apr. 8, 2019
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
Get Directions

Cold War Democracy: The United States and Japan

Image removed.Has American foreign policy been a reflection of a desire to promote democracy, or a simple product of hard-nosed geopolitics? In this talk, Jennifer Miller argues that democratic ideals were crucial, but not in the way most defenders claim. Focusing on the postwar occupation of Japan, she examines how the Cold War produced a new understanding of democracy as rooted in psychologies and mentalities. This vision motivated American efforts to democratize postwar Japan, yet also facilitated America’s rapprochement with the political and military leaders that once led Japan’s brutal war. 

Jennifer M. Miller is an Assistant Professor of History at Dartmouth College.  She received her MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BA from Wesleyan University.  A scholar of U.S.-East Asian relations, she is the author of Cold War Democracy: The United States and Japan (Harvard University Press, 2019).  Her other recent publications include “Let’s Not Be Laughed at Anymore: Donald Trump and Japan from the 1980s to the Present” (Journal of American-East Asian Relations, 2018) and “Fractured Alliance: Anti-Base Protests and Postwar U.S.-Japanese Relations” (Diplomatic History, 2014).

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest and the George Washington University History Department for their support.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program uses history to improve understanding of important global dynamics, trends in international relations, and American foreign policy.  Read more

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

Event Feedback