Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Reconstructing hierarchy as the key international relations concept and its implications for the study of Japanese national identity

  • Michal Kolmaš (a1)
Abstract

For the last few decades, the discipline of international relations has been littered with anarchy. Since Waltz's Theory of International Politics, it has been assumed that states are formally equal sovereign unitary actors operating in an anarchic world system and that their identities and interests are defined by the very existence of anarchy. This article shatters this conception. It offers a ‘hierarchical worldview’ in order to illustrate that the very concepts of state, sovereignty, and anarchy are discursive creations inherently tied to the practice of hierarchy. I use a case study of Japanese national identity to illustrate this practice. The narratives of Japan as an autonomous and sovereign state were inextricably linked to Japan's hierarchical relationship toward Asia and the West (pre-war) and the USA (post-war). Japan's sovereignty and autonomy were then formulated within the practice of hierarchy.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Reconstructing hierarchy as the key international relations concept and its implications for the study of Japanese national identity
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Reconstructing hierarchy as the key international relations concept and its implications for the study of Japanese national identity
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Reconstructing hierarchy as the key international relations concept and its implications for the study of Japanese national identity
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author. Email: michal.kolmas@mup.cz
References
Hide All
Almog, G (2014) The myth of the ‘pacifist’ Japanese constitution. Pacific Focus 12, 132. http://apjjf.org/2014/12/36/Guy-Almog/4177/article.html.
Barder, A (2015) Empire Within: International Hierarchy and Its Imperial Laboratories of Governance. London: Routledge.
Bell, DSA (2002) Anarchy. Power and death: contemporary political realism as ideology. Journal of Political Ideologies 7, 221239.
Berger, TU (1998) Cultures of Antimilitarism. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press.
Bukh, A (2009) Identity, foreign policy and the ‘other’: Japan's ‘Russia’. European Journal of International Relations 15, 319345.
Bukh, A (2010) Japan's National Identity and Foreign Policy. London: Routledge.
Bukovansky, M, Clark, I, Eckersley, R, Price, RM, Reus-Smit, C and Wheeler, NJ (2012) Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Buzan, B and Acharya, A (2010) Non-Western International Relations Theory. London: Routledge.
Campbell, D (1998) Writing Security. United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Chen, C-C (2010) The absence of non-Western IR theory in Asia reconsidered. International Relations of the Asia Pacific 11, 123.
Clapton, W (2009) Risk and Hierarchy in International Society. Global Change, Peace & Security 21, 1935.
Collard-Wexler, S (2006) Integration under anarchy: neorealism and the European Union. European Journal of International Relations 12, 397432.
Deudney, D (2000) Regrouping realism: anarchy, security and changing material contexts. Security Studies 10, 142.
Deudney, D (2007) Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory from the Polis to the Global Village. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Dobson, H (2017) Is Japan really back? The ‘Abe Doctrine’ and global governance. Journal of Contemporary Asia 47, 199224.
Donelly, J (2006) Sovereign inequalities and hierarchy in anarchy: American Power and International Society. European Journal of International Relations 12, 139–70.
Donelly, J (2015) The discourse of anarchy in IR. International Theory 7, 393425.
Easley, L-E (2017) How proactive? How pacifist? Charting Japan's evolving defence posture. Australian Journal of International Affairs 71, 6387.
Fackler, M (2012). A Fringe Politician Moves to Japan's National Stage, New York Times, 8 December. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/world/asia/shintaro-ishihara-right-wing-japanese-politician-makes-gains.html.
Fouse, D (2004) Japan's post-cold war North Korea Policy: hedging toward autonomy? Asian Affairs: An American Review 31, 102120.
Glosserman, B (2014) Japan: from muddle to model. The Washington Quarterly 37, 3953.
Gustafsson, K (2015) Identity and recognition: remembering and forgetting the post-war in Sino-Japanese relations. The Pacific Review 28, 117138.
Hagstrom, L (2015) The ‘abnormal’ state: identity, norm/exception and Japan. European Journal of International Relations 21, 122145.
Hagström, L and Gustafsson, K (2015) Japan and identity change: why it matters in international relations. The Pacific Review 28, 122.
Hagstrom, L and Hanssen, U (2015) The North Korean abduction issue: emotions, securitisation and the reconstruction of Japanese identity from ‘aggressor’ to ‘victim’ and from ‘pacifist’ to ‘normal’. The Pacific Review 28, 7193.
Hansen, L (2006) Security as Practice. Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War. London: Routledge.
Hayes, LD (2009) Introduction to Japanese Politics. New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Holmes, M (2011) Something old, something new, something borrowed: representations of anarchy in international relations theory. International Relations of the Asia Pacific 11, 279308.
Hopf, T (1998) The promise of constructivism in international relations theory. International Security 23, 171200.
Hosoya, Y (2015) Historical memories and security legislation: Japan's security policy under the Abe administration. Asia-Pacific Review 22, 4452.
Hughes, C (2015) Japan's Foreign and Security Policy Under the Abe Administration. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Inoguchi, T and Jain, P (eds) (1996) Japanese Foreign Policy Today. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Iriye, A (1992) China and Japan in the Global Setting. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Ishihara, S (1992) The Japan That Can Say No: Why Japan Will Be First Among Equals. New York: Touchstone Books.
Kang, DC (2004) The theoretical roots of hierarchy in international relations. Australian Journal of International Affairs 58, 337352.
Kang, DC (2010) Hierarchy and legitimacy in international systems: the tribute system in early modern East Asia. Security Studies 19, 591622.
Katzenstein, PJ (ed.) (1996) The Culture of National Security. New York: Columbia University Press.
Katzenstein, PJ and Okawara, N (1993) Japan's national security. Structures, norms and policies. International Security 17, 84118.
Kolmaš, M (2014) Legitimization strategies and Japan's multilateralism switch. Perspectives 22, 4975.
Kolmaš, M (2016) China's approach to regional cooperation. China Report 52, 192210.
Kolmaš, M (2017) Japan and the Kyoto protocol: reconstructing ‘proactive’ identity through environmental multilateralism. The Pacific Review 30, 462477.
Lake, DA (2009 a) Hierarchy in International Relations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Lake, DA (2009 b) Regional hierarchy: authority and local international order. Review of International Studies 35, 3558.
Lande, E (2017) Between offensive and defensive realism – the Japanese Abe government's security policy toward China. Asian Security. doi: 10.1080/14799855.2017.1323882.
Larkins, J (2010) From Hierarchy to Anarchy: Territory and Politics before Westphalia. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mattern, JB and Zarakol, A (2016) Hierarchies in world politics. International Organization 70, 623654.
McCargo, D (2013) Contemporary Japan. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
McClain, J (2002) Japan: A Modern History. New York: W.W. Norton.
McCurry, J (2012) Tokyo's Rightwing Governor Plans to Buy Disputed Senkaku Islands, The Guardian, 19 April. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/apr/19/tokyo-governor-senkaku-islands-china.
Mearsheimer, JJ (2001) The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W. W. Norton.
Mochizuki, MM (2004) Between alliance and autonomy. In Tellis, AJ and Wills, M (eds), Strategic Asia 2004–5: Confronting Terrorism in the Pursuit of Power. Seattle: The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), pp. 103139.
Neumann, IB (1996) Self and other in international relations. European Journal of International Relations 2, 139174.
Neumann, IB (1998) Uses of the Other. The ‘East’ in European Identity Formation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Nussbaum, MC (2001) Upheaval of Thoughts the Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oguma, E (2002) A Genealogy of ‘Japanese’ Self-Images. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press.
Oros, AL (2008) Normalizing Japan: Politics, Identity and the Evolution of Security Practice. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Oros, AL (2015) International and domestic challenges to Japan's postwar security identity: ‘norm constructivism’ and Japan's new ‘proactive pacifism’. The Pacific Review 28, 139160.
Ozawa, I (1993) Nihon Kaizo Keikaku. Tokyo: Kodansha.
Parent, JM and Erikson, E (2009) Anarchy, hierarchy and order. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 22, 129145.
Ringmar, E (1996) Identity, Interest and Action: A Cultural Explanation of Sweden's Intervention in the Thirty Years War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ruggie, JG (1993) Territoriality and beyond: problematizing modernity in international relations. International Organization 47, 139174.
Rumelili, B (2004) Constructing identity and relating to difference: understanding the EU's mode of differentiation. Review of International Studies 30, 2747.
Samuels, RJ (2007) Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
Schmidt, B (1998) The Political Discourse of Anarchy: A Disciplinary History of International Relations. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
Shih, C-y (2010) The west that is not in the west: identifying the self in oriental modernity. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 23, 537560.
Smethurst, RK (2012) Japan, the United States, and the road to World War II in the Pacific. The Asia-Pacific Journal 10, 113.
Suzuki, S (2005) Japan's socialization into Janus-faced European International Society. European Journal of International Relations 11, 137164.
Suzuki, S (2009) Civilization and Empire: China and Japan's Encounter with the European International Society. London: Routledge.
Suzuki, S (2015) The rise of the Chinese ‘other’ in Japan's construction of identity: is China a focal point of Japanese nationalism? The Pacific Review 28, 95116.
Tamaki, T (2010) Deconstructing Japan's Image of South Korea: Identity in Foreign Policy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Tamaki, T (2015) The persistence of reified Asia as reality in Japanese foreign policy narratives. The Pacific Review 28, 2345.
Tickner, A (2003) Seeing IR differently: notes from the Third World. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 32, 295324.
Wæver, O (2002) Identity, communities and foreign policy: discourse analysis as foreign policy theory. In Hansen, L and Waever, O (eds), European Integration and National Identity: The Challenge of the Nordic States. London: Routledge, pp. 2049.
Waever, O and Hansen, L (eds) (2001) European Integration and National Identity: The Challenge of the Nordic States. London: Routledge.
Walker, RBJ (1993) Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Waltz, K (1979) Theory of International Politics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Wendt, A (1992) Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of power politics. International Organization 46, 391425.
Williams, B (2013) Explaining the absence of a Japanese central intelligence agency: alliance politics, sectionalism, and antimilitarism. Journal of East Asian Studies 13, 137164.
Wittinger, R (2010) German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century: A Different Republic After All? Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wodak, R-DC, Martin, R-R and Liebhart, K (2009) The Discursive Construction of National Identity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Japanese Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 1468-1099
  • EISSN: 1474-0060
  • URL: /core/journals/japanese-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed