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Margaret MacMillan is the Xerox Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs and has been the Warden of St. Antony’s College of Oxford University since 2007. She was previously Provost of Trinity College and professor of History at the University of Toronto. Her publications include History’s People (2016), The Uses and Abuses of History (2010), Peacemakers: the Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to Make Peace (2001), and Women of the Raj (1988). Peacemakers won, among other awards, the Duff Cooper Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, the Hessel-Tiltman Prize for History, and the Silver Medal for the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award. She received a BA in History from the University of Toronto and a BPhil in Politics and DPhil from Oxford University. The following interview is an edited version of a discussion between Margaret MacMillan and members of the editorial staff on March 28, 2017. Some grammatical and wording changes have been made to maintain written consistency.

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With four female presidents elected in the past decade, Latin America has seen a spike in female executive leadership unprecedented in any other region thus far in the 21st century. However, having female heads of state is no guarantee that women’s interests will take priority under these female-headed administrations. This paper explores the conceptual distinction between women’s short-term ‘practical’ interests and their long-term ‘strategic’ interests. Whilst all ‘presidentas’ more or less advance the former, commitment to structural change aimed at furthering women’s strategic interests in the long-run has been less clear. This article explores and interprets this mixed record.

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During World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army raped and tortured an estimated 200,000 women, mostly Korean and Chinese. Half a century later, documents were discovered within Japan’s Defense Agency (now called the Ministry of Defense) proving that state officials sanctioned underground brothels. To this day, the Japanese government refuses to directly acknowledge and apologize for its actions. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the Japanese government must admit to its past war crimes. The reasons are threefold: victims deserve an official apology; an admission of guilt would lessen Japanese tensions with its Asian neighbors; and it would reinforce the universal intolerance for war crimes as seen in the military tribunals of Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Nazi Germany.

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When the seminal documents of human rights were written, no thought was given to the inclusion of sexual orientation minorities. As the movement for equality of orientation expands and the existing human rights paradigm becomes increasingly challenged by feminist critique, the question is growing of where sexual orientation belongs within human rights. Attempts at including sexual orientation have largely been through the right to privacy. Through an examination of American jurisprudence and changes in American and European legislation, this paper argues that the equality doctrine can and should be extended to include sexual orientation.