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Toby Osborne


Early modernists have been among the most early and active contributors to the establishment of New Diplomatic History. How has their work affected that on other periods, and how might it continue to do so? How have such extensive histories written during the past decade reframed a wider understanding of the European state system that did so much to establish modern diplomacy? And how might such an understanding be relevant to modern, even contemporary, historians, as well as to other scholars?

J.A.C. Vroom

This Data Atlas of Byzantine and Ottoman Material Culture involves the archiving, storing and making accessible of Medieval and Post-Medieval data from several archaeological missions in the eastern Mediterranean (period 600–2000 ad). The data mainly originate from pottery studies carried out during excavations in four major urban centres and during two surface surveys in their respective surroundings. The urban sites are Butrint in southern Albania, Athens in central Greece, Ephesus in western Turkey and Tarsus in eastern Turkey, the material culture of which is studied in relation to archaeological finds from rural settlements and towns in their hinterlands (e.g., Aetolia, Boeotia).

Kostas Gemenis, Fernando Mendez and Jonathan Wheatley

The authors present a dataset that contains the positions of 231 political parties across 28 countries on 30 policy issues that were considered salient for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament. The party position estimates were originally used in a voter information tool which compared the policy preferences of citizens to those of political parties. The paper discusses the estimation method in the context of the literature on estimating party positions, outlines the coding methodology, and introduces the value of the dataset for third-party users interested in studying political participation and representation.

Paula Devine and Gillian Robinson

Annual public attitudes surveys are important tools for researchers, policy makers, academics, the media and the general public, as they allow us to track how – or if – public attitudes change over time. This is particularly pertinent in a society coming out of conflict. This article highlights the background to the creation of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey in 1998, including its links to previous survey research. Given the political changes after the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement in 1998, the challenge was to create a new annual survey that recorded public attitudes over time to key social issues pertinent to Northern Ireland’s social policy context. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the survey’s foundation, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Agreement. Thus, it is timely to reflect on the survey’s history and impact.

Sabrina Thomas

This article examines the u.s. Congressional debates in 1981 and 1982 over the Amerasian Immigration Act (aia), which provided preferential immigration status for the Amerasians of Southeast Asia. The debates exposed conflict on issues of American identity, race, and nation and the gendered nature of u.s. immigration and citizenship policy. This article considers how lawmakers on both sides of the debate justified accepting the Amerasians as American children or rejecting them as Asian. In each case, lawmakers in the post-Vietnam War era struggled to reconcile the physical appearance of the Amerasians and their racial hybridity with an American national identity. The aia is evidence of the confusion. While the bill defined Amerasians as children of American citizens, it failed to grant them American citizenship. This article argues that although the rhetoric of inclusion and kinship within the aia recognized the Amerasians as children of American fathers, the exclusion of citizenship from the bill formalized their status as the children of “others,” and thus foreign children. Ultimately, the bill exposed the problematic existence of mixed-race populations in the United States, and a history of exclusionary immigration and citizenship policies against people of Asian descent.

James I. Matray

Brian P. Walsh

Over the years, there has been a great deal of debate about whether the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the Soviet Union’s entrance into World War ii against Japan was a more decisive factor in bringing about a Japanese surrender. This debate often has focused on the days between the bombing of Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and the Soviet declaration of war (first learned in Japan on 9 August 1945) and whether there is convincing evidence of Tokyo moving toward surrender during this time period. To date, this debate in general has not touched on the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s order to destroy its documents, though it issued the directive on 7 August 1945. This research note assesses the importance of this document, concluding that its contents suggest that the atomic bombing prompted Japan’s Foreign Ministry to take concrete actions anticipating an end to Japanese belligerence.

Daniel Immerwahr

The Ugly American, published in 1958, was a literary blockbuster that offered a powerful vision of how the United States should fight communism in Asia. Yet despite the textual simplicity of the novel, it had a complex and layered backstory. Its characters were not wholly fictional but were based on real-life models, whose work in Asia laid the backdrop for the novel’s vignettes. Adding an additional layer of complexity, two of those models lived covert lives—one as a closeted gay man working with the Central Intelligence Agency (cia), another as a cia officer tasked with putting down peasant insurgencies—that belied their public images.

Joseph M. Henning

British journalist Edwin Arnold’s The Light of Asia (1879), a book-length, blank-verse poem about the life of Siddhārtha Gautama, triggered an extensive American fascination with Buddhism. Arnold’s sympathetic portrayal of the Buddha enjoyed great popularity in Britain but attracted even more admirers in the United States, where Americans bought dozens of editions. The poem’s popularity, however, also provoked a backlash. While it attracted many Gilded Age Americans, it repelled others who attacked Arnold as a “paganizer.” His success in the United States dismayed Protestant missionaries in East Asia (especially China and Japan) and clergy at home just as they were laboring to spread Christianity abroad. The recognition that “heathenism” was tempting their compatriots came as a shock. The claim that Buddhism offered enlightenment disturbed missionaries and clergy, who attacked it as “a light that does not illumine.” Arnold’s poem triggered a vigorous public discussion of the merits of Buddhism and Christianity. This debate made manifest the spiritual confidence of some Gilded Age Americans and the spiritual uncertainties that beset others regarding the relationships among Buddhism, Christianity, salvation, and civilization.