Publishing time

January 17, 2017

Adriana Dorfman

Soka University, Peace Research Institute


How can political science and international relations theories elucidate the ambiguity and complexity of Japan’s security identity? This paper offers a theoretical analysis of Japan’s vague security identity through the lens of analytical eclecticism as suggested by Peter Katzenstein in 2008. The reason this research employs analytical eclecticism is because it reconfirms that existing theories of orthodox international politics (classical/neo-liberalism and classical/neo-realism) and existing alternative approaches (constructivism) are incomplete in themselves, but are mutually supplemental within an eclectic research method. In an attempt to prove the applicability of analytical eclecticism and to investigate Japan’s changing security identity, this paper proposes four theoretical models of Japan’s security identity (a pacifist state, a UN peacekeeper, a normal state, and a US ally). By substantiating the validity of analytical eclecticism and visualising Japan’s elusive security identity, this paper attempts to make a contribution to the study of Japanese politics and to the application of international relations theory.

Keywords: analytical eclecticism, Article 9, Japan’s security identity, SDF.



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About the Author

Authoris the Assistant Professor at the Soka University Peace Research Institute in Japan. He holds a PhD (Asian Studies and International Relations) from the University of Western Sydney, an MA (Peace and Conflict Studies) from the University of Sydney, and a BA (Humanities) from the Soka University Japan. His research interests include Japan’s pacifism and security policy, Japan-Australia relations, international peacekeeping operations, and nuclear disarmament.