A reply to Randy Waterhouse on balancing

Randy Waterhouse graciously addressed some points I raised in response to his discussion of Japanese balancing behavior, and I would like to respond in turn.Although before I do, I must add that I like the Stephensonian moniker.1 and 2) I think what we're dealing with here is the difference between balancing as a description of …

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Recommended Book: Securing Japan, Richard Samuels

In the aftermath of Japan's first successful test of its ballistic missile defense systems, the "Japan Rising" meme will undoubtedly be on the lips of foreign commentators. Expect more articles like the NYT article by Norimitsu Onishi discussed in this post in July.Fortunately MIT's Richard Samuels, in his latest book Securing Japan, provides a more …

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Carl Schmitt on the US-Japan alliance

Well, not exactly, but I found this passage in "The Concept of The Political" interesting in light of Japan's schizophrenic relationship with the US....It would be a mistake to believe that a nation could eliminate the distinction of friend and enemy by declaring its friendship for the entire world or by voluntarily disarming itself. The …

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Constitutions east and west

In his Sunday interview on NHK, Prime Minister Abe reiterated the importance of constitution revision as a point of contention in next month's Upper House election.Meanwhile, in Brussels this past weekend the European Union's member states concluded a treaty that wraps up the questions that were intended to be addressed by the nixed constitution. The …

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Constructing modern Japan

Every social scientist must struggle with the question of human agency. Are human societies the product of grand social forces or are they the product of the decisions of individuals — Carlyle's heroes?The question is particularly important for Japan, which was pushed on to a drastically different path in the late nineteenth century when confronted …

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