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Long live pacifism! Narrative power and Japan's pacifist model
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History and International Relations.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9897-9891
Number of Authors: 32019 (English)In: Cambridge Review of International Affairs, ISSN 0955-7571, E-ISSN 1474-449X, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 502-520Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

International relations research acknowledges that states can have different security policies but neglects the fact that 'models' may exist in the security policy realm. This article suggests that it is useful to think about models, which it argues can become examples for emulation or be undermined through narrative power. It illustrates the argument by analysing Japan's pacifism-an alternative approach to security policy which failed to become an internationally popular model and, despite serving the country well for many years, has even lost its appeal in Japan. Conventional explanations suggest that Japan's pacifist policies were 'abnormal', and that the Japanese eventually realized this. By contrast, this article argues that narratives undermined Japan's pacifism by mobilizing deep-seated beliefs about what is realistic and unrealistic in international politics, and launches a counter-narrative that could help make pacifism a more credible model in world politics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 32, no 4, p. 502-520
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
International Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-172034DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2019.1623174ISI: 000475201600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-172034DiVA, id: diva2:1346208
Available from: 2019-08-27 Created: 2019-08-27 Last updated: 2019-10-15

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