Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 155: Making Sense of Japanese Power. The Case of Sino-Japanese Interaction over the Pinnacle Islands.

Linus Hagström ()
Additional contact information
Linus Hagström: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper takes its point of departure in a critique of the predominant way in which Japanese power has been conceived/perceived in academic Japanese foreign policy discourse. As an alternative to the /lack of/ power analysis within this discipline, it introduces a relational concept of power and then starts to develop its analytical potential. The selection of a context in which it would seem unlikely that Japan could make successful influence attempts, next provides the application of this conceptual/analytical approach with a ‘crucial case’. An analysis of Sino-Japanese interaction over the disputed Pinnacle (Senkaku or Diaoyu) Islands along such lines indeed demonstrates that Japan attempts to exert power over China, mostly by means of different kinds of civilian statecraft. Although a large number of policy instruments used to this aim are ideational, the analysis shows that they seem to rest rather on economic and, to some extent, diplomatic policy bases.

Keywords: Japanese foreign policy; China-policy; Sino-Japanese relations; Japanese power; Pinnacle Islands; Senkaku Islands; Diaoyu Islands; relational power analysis; ideational statecraft.

JEL-codes: Z00

38 pages, October 1, 2002

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