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Foreign Policy of Japan in the XXI Century: a Policy of Order Or a Policy of Justice?

Student: Andrei Okhrimenko

Supervisor: Alexander Koryagin

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2020

This thesis aims to uncover the moral drivers of the foreign policy of Japan. The study uses the theoretical framework of the Great Conversation between pluralist and solidarist camps of the English School. The camps debate the importance and desirability of the order and justice in global politics. The study primarily focuses on the XXI century but often employs a historical approach to explain contemporary developments. The research methods of the paper include discourse analysis and four case studies. This study critically reviews the academic discourse of the foreign policy of Japan and then conducts four case studies and discourse analysis. The case studies of the two pluralist and the two solidarist primary institutions were conducted. The pluralist institutions examined are nationalism and great power management, and solidarist institutions are democracy and the market. It was hypothesized that the impact of the pluralist primary institutions on the foreign policy of Japan is more significant that would mean that Japan conducts the foreign policy of order. This could add a social dimension to conventional realist power-centered understanding of Japanese foreign policy. However, the study disproves its initial hypothesis. It shows that the role of the solidarist institutions in the foreign policy of Japan is higher, that Japanese nationalism does not reinforce Japanese sovereignty, and Japan hardly engages in conscious great power management. These findings suggest that the foreign policy of Japan is a policy of justice.

Full text (added May 7, 2020)

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