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The Logic of Conformity

The Logic of Conformity: Japan's Entry into International Society

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 208
  • Book Info
    The Logic of Conformity
    Book Description:

    A sophisticated and significant contribution to the literature on state building and the history of international relations,The Logic of Conformityis a fascinating study of how the concept of sovereignty is reshaped by the entrance of newcomers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9007-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Akira Iriye
  4. Author’s Note
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Part One: The Framework of Analysis

    • 1 Introduction: Explaining Japan’s Entry into the International System
      (pp. 5-21)

      This study examines the socialisation of Japan into the European state system in the latter half of the nineteenth century as an aspect of expansion and institutionalisation of the European international system by asking the following questions: (1) What explains Japan’s rapid socialisation into the European sovereign state system in the late nineteenth century? and (2) How can Japan’s entry into the European state system be placed in the larger context of the European state system’s institutionalisation? While sovereign statehood has permeated the entire globe to become one of the most universal features of international relations today, no complete explanation...

    • 2 State Socialisation and Institutionalisation of the International System
      (pp. 22-42)

      This chapter clarifies two key concepts that underlie the central theoretical claims of this study: “state socialisation,” which has often been implicitly discussed in many theories of international relations and comparative politics, but not explicitly studied as an independent subject in detail until recently and “institutionalisation of the international system,” which constitutes a simultaneous process with state socialisation and provides insights into the rationale of the persistence of the European sovereign state system to which all countries strove to conform to in the end. The concept of institutionalisation has been forgotten since Samuel Huntington’s 1968Political Order in Changing Societies,¹...

  6. Part Two: The Process of Conformity

    • 3 Adoption: Introduction of International Law, 1853–1860s
      (pp. 45-63)

      As we undertake our historical case study of Japan’s socialisation into the international system, the first issue that we come across is that of periodisation. Many events occur in parallel incessantly in history. By periodising history, we necessarily assume that changes have occurred, when in fact the past exhibits a seamless fabric that does not allow any sharp line to be drawn. While dividing Japan’s socialisation process into three convenient time periods makes the process more intelligible, each historical event is, in fact, tied to the others. Certain events or accumulation of public energy towards some cause in one historical...

    • 4 Absorption: “Civilisation and Enlightenment,” 1870s
      (pp. 64-77)

      This chapter investigates how Japan absorbed Western civilisation and international law by focusing on a mission that the Japanese government sent abroad to study the essence of Western society and civilisation and on several negotiations that Japan conducted with other countries. The eagerness to learn and abide by international law and to demonstrate their will and capacity to become a faithful adherent of it was most manifested in the way political leaders interacted with other Asian and Western countries during this era.

      The Japanese Foreign Ministry was established in 1869 with Sawa Nobuyoshi appointed as the first foreign minister (then...

    • 5 Adaptation: International Law as a Tool, 1880s–90s
      (pp. 78-94)

      By 1880 Japan had separated itself from the rest of Asia. Having learned that the source of energy for the West’s expansion was imperialism and colonialism, it started to apply what it had experienced as a subordinate to Western superiority to its relations with other Asian countries. After the deaths of Kido and Saigō in 1877 and the assassination of Ōkubo in 1878, perceptions of Japanese political leaders about the nation’s role in East Asia dramatically changed. Until around the 1880s, their objective was to cooperate with China and guide other countries as the Asian leader in order to eventually...

  7. Part Three: The Logic of Conformity

    • 6 Japan’s Entry in Perspective
      (pp. 97-112)

      This chapter extracts several essential features of Japan’s socialisation into international society from the previous historical studies and frames Japan’s socialisation process in the larger institutional dynamics of the international system. Japan’s entry brought unintended consequences to Japan itself as well as to the international system. After discussing some factors to explain the nation’s compliance with international norms in the first part of the chapter, I will speculate in the latter part on the relations between Japan’s socialisation as a newcomer and the changes that it brought to the international system.

      State socialisation and conformity to international norms is the...

    • 7 Conclusion
      (pp. 113-122)

      During the wave of “new institutionalism” in the scholarship of comparative politics and IR since the 1990s, several important works on state building have appeared. Among them was Hendrik Spruyt’sThe Sovereign State and Its Competitors.¹ He explained how sovereign states emerged as the most efficient political entities in dealing with externalities by developing a nonlinear model of institutional selection. His insightful analysis emphasised the functional capabilities at which the state excelled vis-à-vis other political entities as an institution that worked as the causal mechanism of its emergence. An external logic of sovereignty, not just the domestic logic, however, demands...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 123-152)
  9. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 153-176)
  10. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 177-180)
  11. Index
    (pp. 181-190)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 191-191)