This special issue on global history is the first attempt to introduce recent developments of global history to readers of International Relations, and to present ways of collaboration between historical studies and international relations. Global history aims to create new interpretations of ‘world history’ beyond national boundaries or a traditional framework of ‘national history’, and to explore mutual interactions of various regions and people on a global scale. ‘Comparison’ and ‘connectedness or relationship’ are two keys concepts in global history. At the forefront of global history studies now is the early-modern economic history, symbolized by debates on ‘the Great Divergence’ of Kenneth Pomeranz and the Californian School. The questions raised by them on the economic order in the early-modern period are concerned with comparative analyses of wider regions such as East Asia, Western Europe, or South Asia.
On the other hand, the global history on ‘the long nineteenth century’ explores the structural links of various regions within the modern world-system, especially to reveal a relatively unique ‘autonomous’ status of Asian regions in a capitalist world-economy. The works on ‘commodity chains’, which aim to clarify the linkages between production, processing, distribution, and consumption of specific goods (e.g., tea, sugar, coffee, cotton goods) and people, attracted intense attention from scholars. However, the most stimulating researches are those of Asian economic history, focused on mega-regions such as maritime Asia, or intra-regional trading links. These studies aim to overcome a European/Western-centred perspective based on a traditional framework of ‘Western-impact versus Asian responses’. The typical work is presented as the formation and development of ‘intra-Asian trade’ by Kaoru SUGIHARA. He shows us two unique features of Asian economic development at the turn of the nineteenth-twentieth centuries, that is, the emergence of ‘cotton-centred economic linkages’ on the supply side, and the effects of ‘final demand linkage’ on the demand side. These developments led to network analyses such as overseas Chinese merchants and Indian merchants, and globalizing of migration history.
On global history in the twentieth century, we may identify several unique works from Asian perspectives: the arguments of ‘National-Empire’ (Kokumin-Teikoku) by YAMAMURO Shinichi, the hegemonic and structural power of the British Empire and Asian economic development by myself, and Asian developmentalism in the 1960-80s with coexistence of the Cold-War regime by SUEHIRO Akira. Through these studies in the wider context of global history, which utilize methods of relational (or connected) history, especially from Asian perspectives, we may present original interpretations on global/world history, and elicit further collaboration between historical studies, area studies and international relations.
This article aims to analyze the Japan-Russia territory negotiation over Sakhalin by SOEJIMA Taneomi.
In 1872, Soejima proposed to the Russian envoy in Tokyo, E. Butzow, his plan to buy the island of Sakhalin, a territory that belonged to both Japan and Russia. His proposal was modeled on the American purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. Alternatively, Soejima planned to divide Sakhalin in case the Russian side was not ready to agree to his proposal. He wanted to retain southern Sakhalin for a geopolitical reason: to keep the La Pérouse Strait between Hokkaido and Sakhalin. However, Sakhalin was important for Russia as well, not only to secure the La Pérouse Strait but also to defend the Amur River. Butzow did not agree to this and instead encouraged Soejima to abandon the whole Sakhalin Island in exchange for a part of the Kuril Islands. Soejima rejected this proposal as he considered Kuril Islands worthless because of their small area.
In 1873, Soejima dropped a hint to Butzow that there was a possibility of Japan abandoning Sakhalin if Japan could get Taiwan. However, this proposal was withdrawn because Soejima’s plan for the Taiwan Expedition was rejected by the Japanese government. After Soejima returned from China, he proposed to Butzow that he would give Sakhalin to Russia if Russia would maintain neutrality and allow the Japanese army to go through Russian territory when Japan attacks Korea. Soejima’s plan to abandon Sakhalin was a strategic compromise for the expedition to Korea and Taiwan. The Russian side was also ready for a neutral closure with Japan. However, this negotiation was disrupted by the political change in Japan.
It is a fact that the English envoy in Tokyo, H. Parkes, had earlier encouraged the Japanese government to abandon Sakhalin, but Soejima decided to do so himself as part of his diplomatic strategy. However, Soejima’s idea was not to abandon the whole Sakhalin Island in exchange for a part of the Kuril Islands and make it one of the terms of the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875). He succeeded in advancing the stagnated territorial problem to a new stage by making the abandonment of Sakhalin a predetermined route. And, he built a relationship of trust between Japan and Russia, which was a prerequisite for solving the territorial problem. Furthermore, Butzow guaranteed that the Japanese who remained in Sakhalin would not to be forced to change their nationality, and assured the establishment of a Japanese consulate on the island if Japan gave Sakhalin to Russia. These were the contents reflected in the Treaty of Saint Petersburg.
This article discusses the economic thought and policy of Sergei Witte, the Russian Minister of Finance from 1892 to 1903, particularly with regard to how he used Russian commercial fleets effectively. Famously based on Friedrich Liszt’s economic thought, he encouraged the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Russia’s industrialization under government protection. Although little attention has been given to his shipping trade policy, in his book About Nationalism—National Economy and Friedrich Liszt, he stated that it was necessary to develop a national fleet to boost a country to its highest economic stage.
In this article, first, we examine Witte’s two books, About Nationalism and Abstract of the Lecture on the National and State Economy, which reveal how he considered the relations between free trade and protectionism and Russia’s foray into Asian markets, especially China and Iran.
Second, we compare the plans managed by Witte regarding the establishment or reform of some shipping associations between 1899 and 1903. In 1899, he granted approval to the Northern Steamship Company and the Russian East Asian Steamship Company, with their parent companies in Copenhagen, to enter the same line of business as the Russian Volunteer Fleet, which had made round trips between Odessa and Vladivostok since 1879. In 1901, when Witte noticed that the number of Russian commercial ships was not enough to open up markets in the East for Russian export, he insisted that the Volunteer Fleet be gradually transformed from an auxiliary fleet of the Navy into a shipping trade company although other Russian ministers rejected his reform plan. Expecting these three shipping associations to play a part in boosting Russia to its highest economic stage, Witte used the Russo-Danube steamship established in 1903 and the Shipping Company with the Chinese Eastern Railway Company in 1899 to support Russian diplomacy with neighbor countries, not to aim to make profit.
Third, we deal with the establishment of the “Persian Line” of the Russian Steam Navigation and Trading Company (ROPiT), the biggest steamship company in imperial Russia founded in 1856. In 1902, Witte made ROPiT introduce a new line, which provided direct service between Odessa and the Persian Gulf. One previous study discussed that the demand for carrying Muslim pilgrims to Mecca by Russian ships helped the introduction of the new line, while another pointed out its connection with a plan to construct a pipeline between Baku and the Persian Gulf. In addition to these reasons, this article reveals that Witte attempted to use not the occasional calls of warships to the Persian Gulf, but regular commercial service to compete with British power over Southern Iran, even if the line sank deep into debt.
In considering the world order at the start of the 20th century, we will look at an overview of the situation based on a framework of “spheres of influence” and “entente-alliance”. Particularly in the Asia-Pacific region of that time, a scramble for colonial territory and interests unfolded among the great powers, and a movement toward alliances of diplomatic expediency among the powers developed at a bewildering pace. But is it possible to perceive all the way to the structural foundations of this world order built by the great powers, instead of seeing only the diplomatic relations visible on the surface? In employing the framework of “spheres of influence” and “entente-alliance”, are we not looking at imperialism only from the outer surface of competitive national relations?
To reconsider this traditional view, this paper will focus on aspects of integration between power actors among empires, extending beyond national demarcation lines, to elucidate the conditions of the resulting order of coexistence. For this purpose, we will focus here on naval transboundary activities. In particular, this paper will look mainly at the subject of naval forces stationed by Germany and Austria-Hungary, as a contrast with the traditional view of East Asian history along the perspective of the Entente Powers centered on Japan and Great Britain.
The goal of this paper is to reconsider the existing conceptual frame through such naval movements that crossed the boundaries between empires on a daily basis, from the following three perspectives: First, it will relativize the traditional view of imperialism that has concentrated on the individual movements of the great powers grounded in their national bases—that is, the historical view centered on leaseholds and “spheres of influence”. This paper will elucidate the existence of a network of free ports as the infrastructure for such free activities of naval craft across imperial boundaries. Second, it will reconsider the meaning of the scheme of international relations divided into “Triple Alliance” and “Quadruple entente” with regard to formation of the order in East Asia, relativizing the existing view of history that is based on the Entente Powers. It was apparent from naval movements that during times of peace power actors interacted and formed the foundations of a structure for harmonious coexistence crossing over the differences between “entente-alliance”. Third, this paper will attempt to relativize the Western-centric view of history apparent in the history of imperialism and naval history by incorporating the movements of the Chinese navy, which played a main role on the side of the oppressed in the naval relations of East Asia. This paper addresses the fact that while Germany did seize Kiautschou Bay from China as a leasehold, in fact this port “was used” by the Chinese navy in the process of modernization.
This paper’s discussion of these topics will elucidate the structure of the transborder order of imperial coexistence that developed at the time in East Asia.
From mid-19th century onwards, the world was increasingly connected by modern modes of transportation and technologies of communication, such as railways, steamships, modern banking systems, the telegraph, and so on. In East and Southeast Asia, the highest degrees of connectivity were found in and between the capitals or maritime port cities, including Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki, Shanghai, Canton, Hong Kong, Manila, Saigon, Bangkok, Singapore, Batavia, and Rangoon. These cities were linked by steamship, rail, and telegraph services, and covered with networks extending the flows of people, commodities, money, and information. That era of deepening regional connectivity and flows in East and Southeast Asia corresponded with the peak of political revolutionary movements grounded in nationalism, communism, religion, or anti-colonialism. Colonial and national governments regarded these movements as threats, and closely monitored and severely suppressed political activists. Under such circumstances, many revolutionaries were forced into exile by arrest and deportation or in order to escape detention. Exiled activists regularly moved between different cities connected by modern transportation and communication technologies. The cities served as their bases from which they partook of many itineraries of revolutionary activity abroad. This paper focuses on the itineraries of three famous Asian revolutionaries, namely, Sun Yat-sen, Nguyen Ai Quoc, and Tan Malaka, who lived in exile from 1895 to 1916, from 1911 to 1941, and from 1922 to 1942 respectively. The paper offers a comparative study of the particular cities in which these exiled revolutionaries based or pursued their political movements, and explains why these cities were chosen for their arenas of revolutionary activity. Between them, the exiles lived and operated in Tokyo/Yokohama, Shanghai, Manila, Amoy, Canton, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Bangkok, Singapore, and Penang. These were the major maritime cities of Asia, serving as national or colonial state capitals or the leading trading centers in the region. Besides the advantage of having regular services of steamships and communication technologies at hand, the revolutionaries had differing reasons for selecting cities for their revolutionary headquarters. For example, Sun Yat-sen frequently visited and stayed in Tokyo/Yokohama because of his links with Japanese politicians, entrepreneurs, and supporters. On the other hand, Shanghai was the preferred city of underground revolutionaries, such as Tan Malaka, because Shanghai was divided into three municipalities. In short, a close understanding of the relations between cities and revolutionary movements requires a careful analysis of the political, economic, social, and historical background and character of the cities themselves.
One of the present criticism towards modern historical science is that the West is central to history while the non-Western world is “peripheral.” This view can also be seen in international cultural relations, where there is often bipolarization between “bad” and “good,” with the former caused by governments such as through propaganda, and the latter brought about by civil agencies. This research aims to re-examine this problematic structure of international cultural relations based on the hypothesis that “central versus peripheral” in terms of history is a problem inherent in all studies of international cultural relations. This research focuses on two student conferences that took place during the 1930s: the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC), and the Philippines-Japan Student Conference. These two conferences were both managed by the same organization—the Japanese Students English Association—which was a part of kokumin-gaikō, or the concept of the national diplomacy of Japan prior to World War II. Another hypothesis was established to investigate how these two conferences were affiliated without a factor of contingency.
The Japanese side of JASC wanted to communicate the “rightness” of Japanese policy in Manchuria, and the excellence of Oriental culture, while the American delegates viewed this mostly as Japanese propaganda and viewed the country’s censorship as problematic. At the Americans’ suggestion, a rule was created, that prohibited “observers” from entering any rooms at the conference where round-table discussions were being held. This illustrates that the pre-war JASC was not only an example of Japanese kokumin-gaikō but also that it served as an American cultural exchange program. There were also nisei participants in JASC, though they were viewed as “peripheral” actors and unable to send any codes in international cultural relations due to the presupposition of kokumin-gaikō, where a person only has one culture. However, nisei participants did send a code throughout the cultural exchange program, which was the existence of discrimination against Japanese American ethnicity as well as a message of ethical equality towards the white community. As a result, one Japanese delegate at the conference communicated his understanding toward nisei’ duality, where a person have both Japanese ethnicity and American nationality.
At the Philippines-Japan Student Conference, the Japanese side tried to appeal to the existing goodwill between the two countries in addition to highlighting the success of Japanese immigrants in the Philippines. Japanese delegates met with some of the old Japanese workers in the Philippines who were part of the construction of Benguet Road. From this work arose a “legendary story,” where only Japanese laborers were able to successfully complete the construction of this road, while work while non-Japanese laborers were not able to do well. This story was exaggerated by the Japanese working in the Philippines during pre-war period and was exported to Japan, which served to support the idea of Japanese supremacy and the success of Japanese living in areas of nanshin (proceeding south).
It goes without saying that Britain referred to the Beveridge Report as the blueprint for its welfare state after World War II. The report, published in 1942, proposed establishing a comprehensive social insurance system based on contributions from labour, management and the government that encompassed all employees, safeguarding them from every possible risk related to the loss of income. The British people, in the midst of war, were said to have embraced this system enthusiastically.
The influence of the Beveridge Report was not limited to Britain itself. It propagated to Britain’s colonies through various systems and entities such as the Colonial Office, Labour Departments, trades unions in Britain and its colonies and the Labour Advisory Boards, triggering much debate. This paper focuses on the process that took place to create a social security system in East Asia through the perspective of the empire’s history, shedding light on one part of the global history of the welfare state.
In particular, this paper outlines the process that took place to create the Employees’ Provident Fund and the Central Provident Fund, both of which play a central role in Malaysia and Singapore to this day. Similar systems were subsequently established one after another in British colonies such as India, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda.
The basic characteristics of the provident funds are those of compulsory savings systems that set aside contributions from labour and management in employees’ individual accounts. Despite that, the risk is not pooled among users and there are no contributions from the state. The provident funds also made it possible to carry out economic development projects by funding government bonds of huge value, firmly underpinning developmentalism from a financial perspective. It is as if both systems were formed and evolved with no relation to Europe’s idea of a welfare state. In fact, much research has been conducted on the distinctive and unusual nature of the East Asian welfare model compared to the European-style welfare state.
However, these systems would not have been formed without Britain’s idea of a welfare state and the country’s involvement. How was the social security system in East Asia, often portrayed in stark contrast to European-style welfare states and even labelled as “backward”, formed? Furthermore, how did the system evolve over time? This paper will explore the possibilities of the welfare state’s global history.
This article aims to examine why and how French colonial empire was transformed in the post-WWII era. Immediately after the end of the war, the principle of French colonial policy was assimilation. However, in the mid-1950s, France suddenly changed its stance towards decolonization, and most French overseas territories obtained independence in 1960. The turning-point is, as usually argued, the so-called Loi-cadre in 1956, which allowed self-government in each overseas territory. However, existing research have failed to address the question of why and how the French government determined to turn to decolonization. It is sometimes pointed out that Indochinese affairs brought about France’s new thinking, but the logic behind the recognition of the Indochinese countries’ independence was different from that behind the Loi-cadre. Indeed, under this law, the territorial assembly in each territory was elected through universal suffrage. This article points to the links between Tunisian and sub-Saharan African affairs. Indeed, Paris’s decision to introduce internal autonomy to Tunisia through the Carthage Declaration in July 1954 meant that France chose collaboration with the nationalists and adopted a new way of preserving its influence: decolonization.
In order to analyze the significance of the Loi-cadre, this article categorizes the concepts of decolonization into the following two: the first is ‘independence’ and the second ‘self-government’. Indeed, these two concepts were already apparent in President Wilson’s ideas, which had been misinterpreted as merely indicating the first trend, i.e., the territorial divisions of ethnic states. These two types of decolonization constituted serious challenges to French assimilation policy in the post-war era. The challenges derived from the birth of independent Asian countries on the one hand, and gradual if slow devolution of power to local peoples in Africa by Britain, France’s fellow colonial power, on the other. Clearly, aiming to transfer certain power to local assemblies in each overseas territory and to introduce universal suffrage for elections for such assemblies, the Loi-cadre meant the French volte-face to follow the British way of decolonization.
France’s effort to reorganize its colonial empire through the Loi-cadre was, ironically, to be soon overwhelmed by a new trend for the independence of African countries which were produced as a result of France’s recognition of Morocco in November 1955, and which were different from the independence of Asian countries resulting from the power vacuum left by Japan’s surrender. However, creating embryotic state machinery and legitimizing new political power, the Loi-cadre enabled France to outride the spate of independence, epitomized by the Year of Africa, 1960, and to retain political influence in its former dependencies after their independence.
Transnational migration is one of the important themes in the field of global history, which attempts to overcome the existing analytical framework of nation-states. From such a perspective, this paper examines the development of cooperation at the European level in the field of higher education, especially paying attention to the transnational student mobility.
After the World War II, European countries began to work together in the framework of the Council of Europe in order to promote international student mobility within Europe by facilitating the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education.
In the 1970s, however, the European Community replaced the Council of Europe as a main framework for cooperation. The EC Ministers of Education met for the first time in 1971 and adopted a Community action program in the field of education in 1976. In this context, the 1980s saw the launch of the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus), which would later become the EU’s flagship education program. In this period, transnational student mobility was expected to contribute to forge and promote a European Identity. This is why the EC’s actions in this field were confined to promoting such mobility within its borders.
In the 1990s, the Treaty on European Union finally established a legal basis for Community actions in the field of education. More importantly, from the early 1990s, higher education was more and more considered to be a key factor in economic development and the emergence of the concept of knowledge based economy reinforced such a tendency. The EU’s activities in the field of higher education, however, have not so much changed since the 1980s, although Erasmus became a sub-program of Socrates in the mid-1990s.
But things have begun to change at the end of the 1990s, when some European countries launched a new intergovernmental initiative outside the EU to realize the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by coordinating their national higher education policies. This entirely new coordination framework, generally known as the Bologna Process, brought about a breakthrough in cooperation at the European level in that it implies transformations of national higher education systems. Importantly, such an advanced cooperation was launched at the initiative of several national governments who concerned about the attractiveness and visibility of their national higher education institutions.
This shows that there exist complicated interactions between global, regional and national levels regarding transnational student mobility and cooperation at the European level has been shaped and developed under such circumstances.