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  • Author: Joseph MacKay
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: International relations scholars have recently taken increased interest in empire. However, research has often focused on European colonial empires. This article aims to evaluate imperialism in a non-Western historical setting: Late Imperial China. The article first compares extant international relations (IR) accounts of empire (one broad and one narrow) to theories of the East Asian hierarchical international system. Second, to further specify analysis, I evaluate IR theories of empire against the historical record of the Ming and Qing dynasties, addressing Chinese relations with surrounding 'tributary' states, conquered imperial possessions, and other neighboring polities. I argue that while IR theories of empire capture much of the region's historical politics, they nonetheless underspecify it. Theories of East Asian hierarchy suggest additional mechanisms at work. The historical cases suggest extensive variation in how empires expand and consolidate. I conclude that there is room for further theory building about empire in IR and suggest possible areas of emphasis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Kan Kimura
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, East Asian countries have faced serious challenges with regard to regional security. The bilateral relationships between China and Japan, and Japan and South Korea, have become increasingly strained due to a variety of disagreements over key political issues, such as territorial claims. Some observers argue that China and Japan may become involved in a direct military confrontation in the near future over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. The increasing levels of naval and aerial engagements between the two countries demonstrate that such arguments can no longer be seen as 'out of the question'. While two democracies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are both major alliance partners with the United States and share the key security concern of countering North Korea's nuclear and conventional provocations, the two have suffered deteriorating relations since 2012. For instance, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, which provided a mechanism through which Japan and South Korea could share military technology, was canceled in July 2012. Furthermore, the two states have been embroiled in an increasingly antagonistic territorial dispute over Takeshima/Dokdo Islands since President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the islands in August 2012.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Hiroki Takeuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China and Japan have been deepening economic interdependence over the last two decades, while China has recently shown territorial ambitions and initiated disputes with Japan. This runs contrary to the commercial liberal literature that argues that trade promotes peace. On the other hand, the realist theory also does not fully explain Sino-Japanese relations because Sino-Japanese relations are not always in conflict. The rise of China and the relative decline of Japan might explain increasing tensions in the rivalry relationship, but what drives Chinese leaders to initiate disputes? I address the importance of domestic politics to examine Sino-Japanese disputes. I argue that the recent deterioration of the bilateral relationship could be explained by the power struggle in the Chinese leadership. To support the logic of this argument, I use a game-theoretic model, which accounts for how the type of Chinese leadership influences foreign policy outcomes in Sino-Japanese relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Masaru Kohno
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: East Asia now occupies a prominent place in the study of international relations (IR). This, of course, does not mean that IR scholarship in the past failed to pay due attention to East Asia. Wars, trade, and international integration in this region have been the subject of analysis in countless books and scholarly articles. However, the renewed interest in this region is not so much empirically driven (to increase East Asian coverage in the literature) as before but rather represents a theoretical inquiry pertinent to the intellectual underpinning of the scholarship itself. Today, some experts of the region harshly criticize the 'euro-centric' bias of existing IR study and seek to provide alternative conceptions based on the East Asian experience. In response, other scholars have advanced views less provocative but more nuanced about the originality of East Asia. And, there are still others who ï–‚atly reject the connotation that the logic of East Asian international relations is inherently different from that elsewhere. Thus, a diverse set of perspectives has been laid out on the table, but their strengths and shortcomings are yet to be evaluated systematically.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, War
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Ming Wan
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China has gone global, but most China experts in the American academic community have gone local, moving in the opposite direction. As Shambaugh has observed rightly, 'big picture' books on China in the United States have been written by virtually anyone but China scholars. A crucial reason for this academic trend is the current obsession with theories and methods in the social sciences departments, which has changed the incentive structure for scholars who compete for employment, promotion, recognition, and funding. Moreover, given the increasingly complex nature of China's greater presence in the world on so many dimensions, it is also the case that a new generation of scholars trained to be specialized in narrow research topics would arguably find it difficult to write a big book even if they want to. As guilty as many others, this reviewer also encourages his own students to follow a narrow path out of fear that they would otherwise be placed at a competitive disadvantage even though he shares the same concern with Shambaugh.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Motoshi Suzuki
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Northeast Asian region has attracted at least two types of international relations analyses. A first type focuses primarily on military and hard security and investigates changes in states' power and the politics of coercion, balance of power, and alliances. A second type is interested in cross-border economic activities, regional interdependence, and institutionalization and then examines the states' policies of development, trade, money, and technology, as well as the politics of institutional building and reform. T.J. Pempel's edited volume synthesizes the two approaches by viewing the mutually shaping interactions between economics and security as a major feature of regional politics. The book is a fruit of collaborative efforts by American, Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese scholars who provide in-depth analyses of recent developments in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Reform
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, London
  • Author: Hyon Joo Yoo
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since the 1990s, Japan and the Republic of Korea have chosen dissimilar policy options with respect to the US-led missile defense (MD) systems in East Asia. What explains the two countries' dissimilar MD strategies? Inspired by neoclassical realism, this study introduces a framework of domestic hurdles that combines Randall Schweller's cohesion model and Jeffry Taliaferro's resource extraction model. It sheds light on the degree of elite cohesion and social and economic impediments as key causal determinants that impede balancing against external threats. Although the influence of systemic variables that suppose optimal policy options, such as balancing, domestic hurdles impede or delay such options. This study will provide useful contributions to international relations by offering comparative and theoretical analyses on different paths that Tokyo and Seoul have chosen for their MD policies.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, South Korea
  • Author: Ching-Chang Chen
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper critically examines an ongoing debate in International Relations (IR) as to why there is apparently no non-Western IR theory in Asia and what should be done to 'mitigate' that situation. Its central contention is that simply calling for greater incorporation of ideas from the non-West and contributions by non-Western scholars from local 'vantage points' does not make IR more global or democratic, for that would do little to transform the discipline's Eurocentric epistemological foundations. Re-envisioning IR in Asia is not about discovering or producing as many 'indigenous' national schools of IR as possible, but about reorienting IR itself towards a post-Western era that does not reinforce the hegemony of the West within (and without) the discipline. Otherwise, even if local scholars could succeed in crafting a 'Chinese (or Indian, Japanese, Korean, etc.) School', it would be no more than constructing a 'derivative discourse' of Western modernist social science.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Sung-Han Kim, Geun Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This study delves into an empirical case analysis of the desecuritization process of the North Korean threat under the Kim Dae-jung government. Unlike previous studies, it analyzes how domestic and international actors desecuritized traditional threats by taking the pluralistic political processes of a democratic polity seriously. This was the process of competition between different political coalitions and the process of transformation from issues of high politics into issues of low politics. It remains to be seen whether the Kim Dae-jung government's desecuritization of North Korean threats was a deep or a shallow one, but it appears to be clear that the desecuritization of North Korean threats by the Kim Dae-jung government paved the way for another 5 years of progressive government with Roh Moo-hyun's 'unexpected' victory in the 2002 presidential election.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Kosuke Shimizu
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Takashi Inoguchi once stated that Japan's international relations theory is characterized by its exclusive disciplinary orientation toward constructivism. Nishida Kitaro is widely recognized as one of such constructivists. In this article, I argue that Nishida's theory of world history was based on the perception of subjectivity of contradiction, and was thus exclusively culture-oriented. By emphasizing cultural aspects, he tried to disturb the coherence and consistency of the colonialist discourse on which the dominant regime of Japan of the time was entirely reliant. However, because Nishida's theory of world history completely lacked the recognition of the material relations of the colonizer and the colonized, as a direct consequence of his understanding of the term 'culture', his attempts were unrealized.
  • Topic: International Relations, Culture
  • Political Geography: Japan