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War is Peace: The Re-articulation of ‘Peace’ in Japan’s China Discourse
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7495-055X
The Free University of Berlin.
2016 (English)In: Review of International Studies, ISSN 0260-2105, E-ISSN 1469-9044, Vol. 42, no 2, 266-286 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article demonstrates that a national identity defined by a normative commitment to peace is not necessarily an antidote to remilitarisation and war. More specifically, the article takes issue with the debate about the trajectory of Japan’s security and defence policy. One strand of the debate holds that Japan is normatively committed to peace while the other claims that Japan is in the process of remilitarising. This article argues that the two positions are not mutually exclusive – a point that has been overlooked in the literature. The article uses discourse analysis to trace how ‘peace’ was discussed in debates about China in the Japanese Diet in 1972 and 2009–12. It demonstrates how rearticulations by right wing discourses in the latter period have depicted peace as something that must be defended actively, and thus as compatible with remilitarisation or military normalisation. Japan’s changing peace identity could undermine rather than stabilise peaceful relations with its East Asian neighbours.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 42, no 2, 266-286 p.
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot strategi och säkerhetspolitik
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5756DOI: 10.1017/S0260210515000157OAI: diva2:893091
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved

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