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Identity transformation and Japan's UN security policy: from the Gulf Crisis to human security

By Nopraenue Sajjarax Dhirathiti


This research uses discourse analysis to examine Japan's UN security policy after the Cold War period using three cases: the Gulf Crisis, the Cambodian peace process and the promotion of the human security policy. The key argument is that there is a need for a new IR theory-based approach that could explain foreign or security policy decision-making process and could also provide the analysis at both the domestic and the international level simultaneously. This research therefore adopts Wendt's Constructivism, along with the use of 'identity' as the key analytical platform, from which the 'recursive Constructivist model' is developed. Unlike popular literature, this research suggests that 'identity transformation' and the level of conformity between the identities projected internationally (international -role identities) and those embraced domestically (domestic-type identities) are the key factors determining Japan's foreign and security policy preferences. On the interpretation of Japan's post-Cold War security development, this research argues that it could be understood via the UN framework, and not only from the traditional perspective of the Japan-US alliance. Apart from the fact that it could be understood via the process of 'identity transformation', this research provides strong evidence and suggestions that Japan's assertive foreign and security pursuits in the post-Cold War era are the result of the nation's changing sets of ideas and beliefs on the link between 'national' and 'international' security.\ud The original contributions of this research are two-fold. The theoretical contribution is a modification of Wendt's original framework of identity transformation into the so-called 'recursive process of identity transformation. ' The application of 'identity' and the 'recursive Constructivist model' to Japan's UN security policy in this research is significant because it is the first example among research in the field of Japanese studies to use a different analytical framework and tool in examining Japan's foreign and security policy. The model's ability to capture the intertwined process of social interactions at both the domestic and the international level is also important as it contributes to further IR theoretical development and a better understanding on Japan's foreign policy decision-making process. Also, the value-added benefit of the examination of human security policy is another vital substantive contribution, as this is the first exploration of this issue within the context of Japan's UN security policy

Topics: JZ, DS
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1141

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