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Type: Thesis
Title: Japan’s response to the rise of China: implications for regional institutions.
Author: Rathus, Joel Mendel
Issue Date: 2010
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: This dissertation set out to establish why it was that East Asian regional organizations were proliferating even under the condition of a Sino-Japanese rivalry. In particular, it examined the effects of the rise of China on Japan‘s regional policy and its outcomes. To do so, the dissertation adopted an eclectic approach, testing each of the main international relations theories against the story of Sino-Japanese relations within the studied regional institutions of East Asia. It adopted such an approach because no one theory of international relations was able to explain both the cause of and actual outcomes of institution building. Throughout all the regional institutions examined, one trend emerged. Whether in trade, finance, security or development, East Asian regionalism has become ‘networked.’ This networked outcome is more flexible than European or American-type regionalism, allowing for any dyad to calibrate their commitments as they please without reference to a regional standard. But as long as agreement on common rules for East Asia remains unforthcoming, this networked regionalism will not lead into more formalistic, deeper cooperation. This trend toward a ‘networked‘ or bilateral-type of regionalism was traceable back to Japan‘s response to China‘s rise. Rather than trying to build a regionally hegemonic core around which institutions for trade, finance, aid and security might be built, Japan has sought to go it alone. In the field of security, this was understandable from a realist perceptive, but only after a constructivist strategy had failed earlier. In the field of aid, Japan was better able to coordinate with China in a manner that liberalism suggests, but even here Japan was building up alternative bilateral structures. In the field of finance, Japan has competed with China in a manner realism would predict, but due to world level factors this has in fact spilled over into greater regional cooperation. Likewise in the field of trade, Japan has competed with China, giving rise to a situation in which institution building is actually harmed. In conclusion, this dissertation was able to contribute to the literature by revealing the mechanisms by which a bilateral relationship impacts on institution building and to theorize about some of the likely institutional outcomes in the various fields.
Advisor: Jain, Purnendra Chandra
Groot, Gerry
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.)-- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2010
Keywords: China; Japan; regionalism; East Asia; regional institutions; Asian development bank; Chiang Mai initiative; ASEAN regional forum
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
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