For more than a decade, the origins and developments of the modern International Politics as an academic discipline have been widely researched. Out of these researches, some fruitful debates and findings have emerged. They include the close examination about the question whether and when “the first great debate between the realists and the idealists” took place. The debate on “the first debate” is still going on. We have, however, already reaped wide range of byproducts. It turned out that there were not coherent groups of either the idealists or the realists, and that the configuration of the then emergent study of international politics during the interwar era was quite different from what the dominant image of “the first debate” and the subsequent realist victory have told us.
These research and finding opened up a new sub-field of the study of the history of the theory of international politics. We could safely say that the historical turn of the theory of international politics is taking place. According to the scholar of history of political thought, David Armitage, his own research field is now taking the international turn and the fruitful cooperation and exchange of ideas look quite promising between international politics with the historical turn and political thought with the international turn.
The current issue of International Relations draws on this development and tries to examine the theories of international politics in a variety of historical and social contexts. By putting the theories in their historical contexts and social contexts, or by historicizing the theoretical activities of international politics, very different and unnoticed social and political aspects of the theory building emerge. It means to treat the theory of international politics not as objective tools to analyze the existing power relations but as an active engagement into the interpreting and reconstructing the reality. Then the research into the theory building has to deal with whole range of new issues of social and political contexts in which the theorists situate themselves and actively engage themselves.
Thus the introductory section talks about the relationship between theory building and the historical and social contexts. The first section touches upon the above mentioned development and delineate the rationale for this issue. The second section deals with the development of regional perspectives on international politics and tries to raise the question of inscribed Euro-centrism of the theory of international politics. The third section offers the brief overview of the articles in this special issue and talks about their significance in the current research project. The short concluding section touches upon the further prospects of the historical turn of the theory of international politics.
This article explores how the theories and concepts of ‘nationalism’ were incorporated into the newly introduced study of International Relations (IR) in Britain, arguing that scholars’ theoretical attempts to limit the ‘hostility of nationalism’ eventually gave way to the empirical reality of international politics during the inter-war period. It will focus on a report by a research group at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), whose official aim was to provide a ‘scientific examination’ of the contemporary developments of nationalism that had dominated Europe since the end of the nineteenth century and were believed to ‘threaten the very future of civilisation’.
During the inter-war years, nationalism was heavily criticised as being a regressive political ideology deemed to be a decisive factor of war. Its dramatic growth became a major issue for the IR academics who were studying the bankruptcy of internationalism. They decided to initiate a collective, comprehensive, and scientific study of nationalism within the newly established London think tank. The debate adopted an early modernist and functionalist approach to the concept of nation and national identity with a historical perspective on the stages of nationalism as an account of the economic and social developments of the nation and nationality. At first, the members of the research group sought to provide a theoretical perspective on the limitation of nationalism. As the international situation became increasingly tense, however, they came to accept the concept of nation and nationalism as a fact, no longer assuming that nation states would disappear nor that nationalism should be condemned as the sole cause of discontent and instability.
The group’s theoretical studies were highly responsive to the challenges of a deteriorating international environment and theory was gradually reconciled with the empirical reality of international politics. This will defend a historically sensitive approach to the classification of international theories during this period of crisis, avoiding reducing a broader political and social debate to the ahistorical utopian-realism dichotomy of the ‘First Great Debate’. Special attention needs to be paid to a wide variety of institutional settings and collective studies that gave rise to the substantive debates on international affairs in inter-war Britain marking a sharp contrast with the situation in the US where IR debates mainly took place in the academic circles of Political Science.
Utopian-liberalism in International Relations (IR) represented by reform-minded international lawyers was dominant in the interwar years. For instance, lawyers such as Quincy Wright and Charles Fenwick endeavored to establish a more progressive international order through their academic discussions and activities. James T. Shotwell, an internationalist scholar of Columbia University, also joined in the movement, defining the study of IR as a vehicle of enhancing international cooperation among nations. The two volumes on the general academic state of IR in the US that were edited by Edith Ware under the supervision of Shotwell and published in 1934 and 1937 naturally epitomized liberal orientation, defining the field as inter and multi-disciplinary, but still explicitly highlighting international law’s significance in the field. However, toward the late 1930s, critical voices against progressive international law started to grow. Most notably, Hans Morgenthau argued that the reformers’ understanding of international law was oriented too much toward formalism.
After the war, Wright sought to reaffirm the importance of international law in IR, but his claim encountered severe challenges. While IR as an independent discipline was gaining more recognition and popularity in response to changing international circumstances, some argued that more emphasis should be laid on international politics. In 1946 the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) sponsored a series of conferences in six US cities that discussed how IR should be taught and what kind of disciplines should form IR. Even though the CFR conference report noted the growing importance of IR, it was defined as a multi-disciplinary field mainly composed of international law, international organization, and international politics.
What made the situation more complex was growing popularity of the behavioral sciences in American academia at that time. Scholars such as Morgenthau were not supportive of such an approach and instead stressed the importance of the political theory approach to IR.
In 1954 the Rockefeller Foundation sponsored a conference on international politics. Its participants included not only renowned scholars—Morgenthau, Kenneth Thompson, and Arnold Wolfers— but also former officials, such as Dean Acheson and Paul Nitze. The conference theme was the relevance and possibility of theory building in IR, but no clear viewpoint came out of it. Some pointed out the difficulty of generalization from historical cases, while others addressed the need for a specific theory applicable to actual policy making. In the meantime, Wright still advocated the desirability of a comprehensive, eclectic, and multi-disciplinary approach in IR.
Thus, American scholarly discussions of IR at the end of the 1950s were in the state of confusion. Scholars had to wait another decade or so for the emergence and dominance of a ‘scientific’ approach which gave explicit priority to political science over international law.
Scholars of international studies in Japan have repeatedly reflected on their excessive susceptibility to the Western academia; they have rigorously “imported” theories from America and Britain whereas they have failed to develop their own. However, few researchers have exemplified how this “importation” has actually been played out. Given that the Japanese recipients of Western theories have not shared academic and other contexts with their original bearers, it is possible that the “importation” have led to idiosyncratic interpretations of these theories.
This article examines in which context and in what way Japanese scholars in the middle-war and the early post-war periods read the works of E. H. Carr, the oft-claimed pioneer of Western international relations theory. In the Anglophone international studies academia, scholars have usually labeled Carr realist who had rejected interwar liberal internationalism. His first readers in Japan did not embrace such view. They, in fact, did not read Carr exclusively as international theorist. Carr, for early Japanese scholars, was an empiricist social thinker who attempted to transcend the modern ways of (both domestic and international) politics.
Among Carr’s writings, the one that first won the heart of Japanese scholars was not The Twenty Years’ Crisis, the now acclaimed classic of international relations theory, but Conditions of Peace, its more utopian-oriented sequel. They, in addition, virtually ignored the book’s second part, in which Carr provided his prescriptions for the new world order; they rather focused on the first part, in which he discussed the limits of modern political thought. Finishing Conditions of Peace, furthermore, they moved on to The Soviet Impact on the Western World, yet another book on the crisis of the modern European political system. Only after this series of reception, The Twenty Years’ Crisis caught a spotlight. As a result, Japanese scholars read the book not so much as an advocacy of power politics as a stepping stone for the future governance of the still antagonistic relationship among states.
Thusly, early Japanese recipients of Carr read his works against the backdrop of their own concern about the deadlock of modernity. This insight provides us an alternative way to approaching the history of Japanese international studies.
The essence of realism is its attention to the exercise of power through which political actors pursue their goals of realizing desirable consequences. From the realist point of view, political actors aim at either maintaining or altering the status quo by getting others either to do what they otherwise would not do, or to refrain from doing what they otherwise would do. In other words, power relations and prudent actions are at the core of realism. The primary purpose of this article is to examine why this realist school of international relations went through changes of its analytical foci from the Interwar Era to the Nuclear Era in the twentieth century.
The realism of the Interwar Era found its target of criticism in liberalism, which totally ignored the conflict of interests among major powers over the status quo. E. H. Carr in particular severely criticized the liberal defense of the status quo. Then, the ideological confrontation between the two crusading superpowers during the Cold War directed the realist research to the misperception of intentions. Hans Morgenthau, for instance, fully understood the seriousness of the security dilemma in the Cold War context, in which the intention of the liberal United States was naturally misperceived by the Soviet Union as demanding for change of the status quo in her favor and this misperception exacerbated the prospect for negotiated settlement of conflicts. Finally, the nuclear arms race during the Cold War generated awareness among realists that the avoidance of total nuclear war was in common interests between the Cold War rivals. In this context, realists came to be aware of not only the risks of misperceived threats but also those of misperceived promises among states. This article stresses that Yoshikazu Sakamoto, placed in a proper historical context, should be re-read as one of the few Japanese scholars of international politics, who chose to theoretically tackle contemporary American realist questions, often associated with Hans Morgenthau and Thomas Schelling.
For most Japanese IR scholars, Nagai Yônosuke is known as the most representative realist in Post-War Japan. Given the hegemony of idealism in the discursive space in 1950’s Japan, it is not an exaggeration to say that his appearance as a conservative realist in 1960’s was a historical event. In the studies concerned with political science in Post-War Japan, however, Nagai is usually depicted as a pioneer in behaviorism inspired by contemporary American political science. This article intends to synthesize these two aspects which were hitherto separately discussed, and by doing so resituate his works in the intellectual history of Post-War Japan.
Chapter I examines Nagai’s works before his debut as an international political scientist. Influenced by his brother, Nagai in his teens was concerned with the philosophical trend of logical positivism. During the Pacific War, however, fascinated by German romanticism, he went further to accept anti-Semitic theory on conspiracy. Given this experience, after the war, he began to be engaged in research on political consciousness with the theoretical framework of sociological psychology and had soon established himself as a promising political scientist. Nagai’s behaviorism owed heavily to Maruyama Masao’s work, The World of Politics, published in 1952. Based on Lasswell’s works, Maruyama had there presented his behavioristic model of political power and suggested the importance of the activities of voluntary associations as a remedy for political apathy in mass society. In 1950’s, Nagai as well as Maruyama regarded his behaviorism as a progressive venture to establish democracy in Post-War Japan. However, Nagai was not a blind advocate of behaviorism. Reviewing Weldon’s work, the Vocabulary of Politics, which was founded in logical positivism, he criticized the scientific assumption of American behaviorism and its inclination to social engineering. Nagai did not even conceal himself from his sympathy with Hans J. Morgenthau’s criticism to social engineering. Thus Nagai’s ambivalent attitude toward American political science was a prologue to his subsequent conversion to conservative realism in 1960’s.
Chapter II investigates Nagai’s works on international politics in 1960’s focusing on the relationship between his concern in 1950’s. and 1960’s His first article on international politics, “American concept of war and the challenge of Mao Zedong” founded its theoretical framework on his behavioristic political science including key concepts such as “situation”, “institution” and “organization”. His criticism to American concept of war was apparently based on his antipathy to social engineering which had already appeared in late 1950’s. Nagai was misunderstood by his contemporaries as an epigone of American scientific strategic studies. Discussing Nagai’s ambivalence toward scientific approach, this chapter explains the reason why such misunderstandings had occurred
Chapter III depicts how Nagai viewed the political turmoil in 1968. As an expert in the study of mass society, Nagai was sensitive to the impact of rapid economic development commencing in early 1960’s upon contemporary Japanese politics. Nevertheless, he did not advocate the end of ideology. He rather appreciated the importance of utopian ideas in the post-industrial society. In his article “Why dose socialism exist in America?”, Nagai criticized the stagnant institutionalized American liberalism and appreciated utopian idealists including Riesman and Fromm. Therefore, while adopting conservative realist critique in discussing American foreign policies, Nagai took sides with “utopian socialists” in reviewing American domestic politics. His dual strategy took its root in his consistent criticism to the institutionalized American liberalism.
A liberal political regime is an important precondition for peace movements to flourish as in Britain of the 19th century. Japan, as a latecomer in the modern world, adopted an aggressive militarist policy under the authoritarian regime in the late 19th century. Thus, the earliest peace movements in Japan, which appeared around the turn of the century, took it upon the daring struggle against the towering militarism, and advocated absolute pacifism and a remarkably cosmopolitan outlook; but their social impact was negligible till the end of the Second World War.
The collapse of a militarist Japan in 1945 and the following enactment of the liberal peace constitution brought forth favorable conditions for peace movements. In fact, Ban-the-A-and-H-Bomb Campaign in the mid 1950’s rallied unprecedentedly wide and strong popular support and exerted a significant influence on Japan’s security policy.
However, such seemingly advantageous conditions to peace movements had their own hazards. The strong antiwar sentiment in postwar Japan largely came from the devastating national war experience. Therefore, peace groups very often shied away from immediate security issues in East Asia; and national stories of wartime hard suffering turned a blind eye to even harder indignation of neighboring nations against Japan’s militarist records. In addition, national peace organizations were torn apart in line with the cold war ideological split, and thus lacked the ability to mobilize the grassroots antiwar sentiment effectively.
From around the end of the cold war, some new trends turned up in Japanese peace movements. First, local groups virtually took over longstanding national groups in peace activities. It is largely because locality became the front line between the security of people’s daily life and the growing frequency of US military activities in and around Japan. The most important case was the concentration of US military bases in Okinawa. This problem came to attract national attention by virtue of an unbending Okinawan minority of antiwar landowners. Second, the problem of Japan’s war responsibility was at last widely acknowledged among the Japanese public. Reconciliation with neighboring nations was set as a distinct goal of peace activities. Third, peace activists began to propose an alternative security policy. They stress the importance of establishing the rule of law in the unstable security environment of East Asia.
In short, Japanese peace movements began to address the long-overdue problem of international solidarity in East Asia and to assume the role of a policy initiator.
This article traces the historical contexts of international politics study from the 19th century to the present in China, and explores the background and possibilities of ‘China model.’ The China model has been argued in the academic circle in China after the latter half of the 1990s, in order to interpret Chinese foreign policy more clearly and efficiently under its own historical and cultural contexts.
It was the 19th century when China started to make contact with the international law and diplomacy. At first, Chinese officials recognized them as tools and device to negotiate with western countries. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Chinese government utilized concepts of modern international relations,such as sovereignty, independent and mutual principle of equality and mutual benefit, to protect and maintain its existence as a nation. Such behavior was succeeded by the PRC, such as the five principles for peace. However, the PRC kept a distance with western concepts of international politics, and began to import a series of Marxist theories and concepts it from the Soviet Union. After the Cultural Revolution, the PRC gradually resumed to receive western theories and concepts of international politics.
Thus, the PRC basically kept the basso continuo of Chinese diplomacy, such as importance of sovereignty,independent and mutual principle of equality and mutual benefit, but its main theories and concepts were from Marxist studies. After new western studies were gradually imported to China, the basic situation did not change very much. After the 1990s, the so-called rising of China, it needed to interpret and explain its policy to the world more efficiently. At that time, Chinese scholars realized that it was difficult to do so by utilizing Marxism and new western studies. Therefore, many started to explore new ways, and promoted the China model with historical and cultural contexts in China to interpret its own foreign policy. However, the arguments regarding this new model were losing its objective and their bearings.
Jihad is one of the most controversial concepts in the Islamic political thought. This paper shed light on two dominant trends in the theories of Jihad in Modern Islamic World. Modernist thinkers, on the one hand, were concerned with political consequences of waging Jihad against the Western Powers and devised a theory intended to avoid the implementation of Jihad doctrine in the modern international arena. This “avoidance theorists” conducted meticulous research on the history of early Islam and forcefully concluded each and every wars and conflicts fought by the prophet Muhammad and his disciples were acts of selfdefense. By doing so, modernist thinkers presented Islam as an entity reconcilable with international laws and norms. Fundamentalist thinkers, on the other hand, criticized the modernist thinkers and its “subservient” style. Fundamentalists are not opposed to the “defensive” nature of Islam but expanded the concept of “defense” beyond the ordinary bound and redefined it to encompass fighting to root out the un-Islamic political and social institutions and entities from the earth. Although political implications of the two trends are diametrically opposed to each other, theoretically they are mutually supporting, at least in part. Modernists have paved the way to supremacist notion of Jihad by definitively approving the historical acts of war by the early Muslim nation as totally defensive and righteous. Fundamentalists rode on this theory and expanded the realm of the “defense” to such an extent that even most of the offensive warfare can be legitimized as “defense” in the context of eternal struggle for the sake of the cause of spreading Islam.
Using a genealogical approach, this study analyzes the dispositive of humanitarianism/trusteeship,which has constituted the power relationship between trustees and target societies and fields of intervention of power in international society. This dispositive was produced in colonial period and reproduced in the post-Cold War era. Previous studies tend to presume that colonial and new trusteeships are rooted only in liberalism. However, this study argues that it is underpinned not only by liberalism but also by humanitarian discourse. Moreover, it shows that trusteeship and humanitarianism have been mutually constitutive. However, this study does not attempt a complete history of humanitarianism and trusteeship. Its aim is to follow the formation and reproduction of power relations in international society. In order to do that, this study adopts a genealogical approach which was developed by Michel Foucault. And it uses the concept of dispositive by which Foucault sought to grasp micro-power relations. The concept of dispositive refers to the systems of power relations that can be established among various elements such as laws, institutions, regulations, statements, and social practices. Analyzing the dispositive which has constituted power relationship in international society, this article introduces the concepts of pathologization and prescriptions. By the concept of pathologization, I attempt to describe a process in which humanitarianism attributes root causes of human suffering to the nature of target societies, and thereby it constitutes the relationship between trustees and target societies. Subsequently, humanitarianism prepares prescriptions such as colonial administration to address the root causes of human suffering. Thus, trusteeship is established in the relationship between trustees and target societies. (In this study, ‘trusteeship’ refers to a relation of inequality and a field of intervention, rather than a specific or particular historical practice. Therefore,the concept of trusteeship includes various practices such as colonial administration, development assistance, and transitional administration.) This study starts with the hypothesis that the dispositive of humanitarianism/trusteeship was constituted in the British Empire in the 19th century. When colonial trusteeship was constituted, humanitarian discourse tended to pathologize target societies and to make prescriptions. The language of trusteeship harks back to the colonial period even while the humanitarianism of today tends to reject political and colonial content. A large scale peacebuilding has been underpinned by humanitarian discourse and practice which pathologized post-conflict societies and made prescriptions. While trusteeship requires strong moral justification, humanitarianism contributes to the constitution of trusteeship when it attempts to alleviate human suffering.
This article examines new/neo humanitarianism in a wider context of post-Cold War international relations and argues that its emergence corresponds to an important shift in the meaning of the political in today’s international relations. It describes the shift in terms of the contrast between two logics of politics: the conventional “logic of distinction,” whereby political processes take place between territorially separated, sovereign entities, and the newer “logic of translucency” in which new values (and risks) are generated by the actor’s ability and will to extend beyond its material and ideational boundaries. The logic of translucency has been adopted by many actors who thereby aim to generate new values and extend the reach of their own activities. From this perspective, new humanitarianism, which seeks linkage to the activities that were once off limits to traditional humanitarianism (military intervention, development and governance), can be seen as another example of the ideational and practical socialization to a new political landscape. However, as political actors acting on the logic of translucency each try to extend themselves beyond their traditional realms, dilemmas, contradictions, clashes and conundrums tend to occur: the logic of translucency ironically thus generates diverse forms of “murkiness,” creating in turn a new desire for translucency.
The current crisis in humanitarian assistance (kidnappings, killings and obstructions against humanitarian personnel) can be seen as part of the murky consequences of new humanitarianism and politics and, as such, cannot be blamed solely on the post-911 tendency of the humanitarianization of politics, i.e., the utilization by state authorities and militaries of humanitarian arguments and programs to serve their ends. This article also suggests that new humanitarianism as well as its murky consequences cannot be wished away by insisting that humanitarianism should go back to the basics, because the changing nature of humanitarianism has deeper roots in the changing nature of politics in general.