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The Rhetoric of Power: Conceptions of Power in the Academic Post-Cold War Japanese Foreign Policy Discourse

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    The main purpose of this paper is to investigate how scholars have related to the term ‘power’ in their research of post-Cold War Japanese foreign policy; how they have filled the term with meaning, i.e. how they have associated it with a concept. This is done through an analysis of English and Japanese texts, both those that do not include an explicit definition of the term, but still use it extensively, and those that do define the term and purport to make use of it in empirical research. An analysis of the material shows inconsistency in the sense that power is implicitly understood in terms of resources and capabilities (cf. Realism in International Relations), but explicitly (e.g. in definitions) clearly in relational terms. The way to express power in Japanese, moreover, significantly differs from the English practice; in English there is merely one word – in Japanese several words are used to express the different concepts of power. An interesting feature of Japanese texts, moreover, is the frequent references to ‘powerization’, i.e. the process of becoming a power.

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    Paper provided by The European Institute of Japanese Studies in its series EIJS Working Paper Series with number 110.

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    Length: 48 pages
    Date of creation: 08 Jan 2001
    Publication status: Published in Japanese Journal of Political Science, 2005, pages 145-164.
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:eijswp:0110
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