Political scientist publishes new book on Germany

by Dennis Brown

Cambridge University Press has published “Judging the Past in United Germany,” a new book by A. James McAdams, chair and professor of government and international studies at the University of Notre Dame.p. Based on extensive interviews in Bonn and Berlin during the 1990s, the book examines the aggressive steps taken by the Federal Republic of Germany to come to terms with the crimes and injustices of communist East Germany. In particular, McAdams provides new insight into the criminal trials for killings at the Berlin Wall, the disqualification of administrative personnel for their connections to the secret police, parliamentary truth-telling commissions, and private property restitution.p. “McAdams’ book is engaging, beautifully written and smart,” says Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of law, political science and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s a valuable contribution ? balanced, reasonable, judicious and well-researched? and, a just plain good read.”p. A leading expert on the politics of German unification and East European politics, McAdams received the DADD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 1997 for his “major corpus of excellent analysis of Germany’s postwar division and its overcoming.” McAdams was the first political scientist to receive the prize from the German Academic Exchange Service and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.p. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1992, McAdams is the author of “East Germany and Detente” and “Germany Divided.” He is the coauthor of “Rebirth: A History of Europe” and editor most recently of “Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law in New Democracies.” He received the 1995 Charles E. Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching in the College of Arts and Letters.p. McAdams earned his bachelor’s degree from Earlham College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught from 1985-92 at Princeton University, where he won the university-wide Robert K. Root Preceptorship for outstanding teaching in 1989.

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