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Understanding fluctuations in Sino-Japanese relations: To politicize or to de-politicize the China issue in the Japanese diet
Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.
Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.
2010 (English)In: Pacific Affairs, ISSN 0030-851X, Vol. 83, no 4, p. 719-739Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

From the late 1990s to the late 2000s, scholarly literature and media analysis shifted from representing the Sino-Japanese relationship as generally “good,” to portraying it as generally “bad,” and then back to describing it as generally “good” again. This article aims to make sense of what could thus be construed as fluctuations in Sino-Japanese relations and Japan's China policy, through employing discourse analysis as foreign policy theory. The aim is operationalized by analyzing Japanese China discourse as it has played out in the Diet. The article demonstrates that there is a fault line between a “radical representation,” epitomizing further politicization of a prevalent Japanese sense of insecurity about China, and a “moderate representation,” reflecting de-politicization of the same phenomenon. Furthermore, it shows that in the period examined (a) China has come to be discussed more frequently, and (b) a greater variety of aspects of the relationship have reached the political agenda. Together, these two changes have been conducive in altering the relative position of the two representations. In 2008 the moderate representation was still dominant, but less so than in 1999. The main argument of this article is thus that recent fluctuations in Japan's China policy—and by implication Sino-Japanese relations—can be understood in terms of an increasingly open Japanese China discourse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 83, no 4, p. 719-739
Keyword [en]
Sino-Japanese relations fluctuations, Japan's China policy insecurity, Japanese Diet debate discourse analysis
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102441ISI: 000285036000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102441DiVA, id: diva2:710310
Available from: 2014-04-07 Created: 2014-04-07 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Waiting for the rising power: China’s rise in East Asia and the evolution of great power politics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Waiting for the rising power: China’s rise in East Asia and the evolution of great power politics
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many political scientists expect the advent of rising states to bring about shifts in the international distribution of power, on the one hand, and competitive policies to improve one state’s power relative to a targeted state or coalition, known as “balancing,” on the other. Focusing on China’s rise in East Asia in 1993–2016, this dissertation challenges both these assumptions and offers a reassessment of the links between rising states, power shifts, and balancing in international relations. First, I demonstrate that the gap between the United States and China in exercising control over the security and alignment policies of secondary states has become wider, not narrower. Second, to explain this, I present two new mechanisms that reduce shifts in power from established to rising powers: the power effects of expertise and the anti-power effects of status seeking. Third, I show that there has been much less balancing from both China and Japan than is commonly assumed. Fourth, under certain conditions—dominant moderate policy discursive positions and status seeking with the objective of peer-recognition—I have demonstrated that enmity is able to coexist with policies of non-balancing and even accommodation. Finally, by revealing tacit but fundamental differences in the purposes for which scholars employ the balancing concept, I reconcile some of the disagreements about whether balancing is taking place in the wake of China’s rise.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen studerar de internationella följderna av Kinas uppgång i Östasien från 1993 till 2016. Den består av fem fristående uppsatser och en kappa. En grupp av främst icke-västliga så kallade uppstigande stater, vilka kännetecknas av växande ekonomier och en potential för avsevärt internationellt inflytande, präglar den samtida världspolitiken. Många statsvetare har förväntat sig att utvecklingen kommer att leda till att den internationella maktfördelningen förändras och att stater kommer att “balansera”, det vill säga försöka förbättra sin makt relativt till en specifik annan stat eller koalition. Jag utmanar båda dessa antaganden och omvärderar därmed relationen mellan uppstigande stater, maktskiften, och balansering i internationell politik. Analysen visar att USA:s försprång gentemot Kina i inflytande över andra östasiatiska länders säkerhets- och allianspolitik har ökat, snarare än minskat. För att förklara detta presenterar jag två nya mekanismer som motverkar maktskiften mellan etablerande och uppstigande stater: experters makt över säkerhetspolitik, vilket antas gynna etablerade stater, och de negativa makteffekterna av statussökande, vilket antas missgynna uppstigande stater. Jag åskådliggör vidare att både Japan och Kina har balanserat betydligt mindre än vad många har förväntat sig. Avhandlingen pekar ut två omständigheter som möjliggör osämja att samexistera med icke-balansering och till och med en politik som ökar rivalens makt: dominans av inhemska röster som strävar att avpolitisera otrygghet inför rivalen, och statussökande med målet till erkännande av jämbördighet. Slutligen så visar jag att debatten om balansering missgynnas av outtalade men grundläggande skillnader i hur forskare använder konceptet. Genom att klargöra dessa olika syften så kan många av kontroverserna i debatten om balansering i följderna av Kinas uppgång redas ut.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, 2016. p. 57, 36
Series
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 168
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129819 (URN)978-91-7649-394-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-09, hörsal 11 hus F, Universitetsvägen 10 F, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-05-17 Created: 2016-05-02 Last updated: 2017-02-20Bibliographically approved

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