2000 年 2000 巻 124 号 p. 137-162,L15
Since Erikson theorized the concept of identity in psychology, it has been applied to other academic fields such as sociology and political science. Especially in the 1990s, identity theory has been introduced to IR theory and much academic writings has argued on the importance of the concept of identity in international relations from several viewpoints. The purpose of this article is to develop a frame of reference to the concept of identity in IR theory.
This article, firstly, tries to clarify what “identity” means. “Identity” means the contents of self-identification—one's thinking about “what I am” or “what we are”. About the concept of identity, there are two important points. The first point is that other members in the society should recognize one's insistence about his/her own self-identification. Without the recognition by other members in the society, one's self-identification is only equal to his/her self-image. The second point is that the definition of “I” or “we” simultaneously defines “the other” and the difference between “I”/“we” and “the other” tends to be emphasized.
Secondly, this article surveys literature focusing on identity in international relations in the 1990s, for example, arguments by Wendt, Katzenstein, Campbell, Neuman and others. Then it points out that most of them overlook the existence of “double contingency”. For meaningful arguments over “identity”, “double contingency” should be considered and possible gaps between one's perception about the content of self-identification and the other members' should be explicitly dealt with. When such gaps exist over one's self-identification, he/she often falls into “identity crisis”. The above arguments hold true with respect to collective identity.
Finally, this article takes Japan and Australia as examples of identity crisis in international society and describes how national leaders and intellectuals have tried to overcome such crises.