The strength of nationalism in East Asia has in recent years attracted a great deal of attention, both among the scholarly community and in the media. However, with the notable exception of Japan, little attention has been devoted to the subject of history education. As a result, the ways in which history education across the region both influences and is influenced by the politics of nationalism and identity is poorly understood. The purpose of this special issue is to begin to address this gap in the literature, and this introductory chapter briefly surveys the historical and ideological context within which debates over history education have taken place, highlighting some of the similarities and differences between European and Asian experience in this field. It concludes with a summary of the themes and issues covered by the remaining chapters in this issue.
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