[B] = Brooks, Stephen G. Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict. Princeton University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780691130316. [Preview with Google Books]

[BU] = Bull, Hedley. The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics. 4th ed. Columbia University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780231161299.

[I] = Iriye, Akira. Japan & the Wider World: From Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Present. Routledge, 1997. ISBN: 9780582210530.

[P] = Pyle, Kenneth B. Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose. Public Affairs, 2008. ISBN: 9781586485672.

[S] = Samuels, Richard J. Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia. Cornell University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780801474903. [Preview with Google Books]

[SM] = Smith, Sheila A. Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China. Columbia University Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780231167895.

Readings with an asterisk (*) can be used for the précis assignment. See the Assignments section for further detail.

I. Historical and Theoretical Background

Japan and the Old World Orders

Modernizing Japan, Imperial Japan, and Client Japan. Relations between Japan and the Great Powers Past and Present: China, Russia, Great Britain, and the United States.


[P] Chapter 1: New International Orders.

[P] Chapter 2: Japan’s National Style.

[P] Chapter 3: The World Japan Entered.

[P] Chapter 4: Stature Among Nations.

Krasner, Stephen D. “Organized Hypocrisy in Nineteenth-Century East Asia.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 1, no. 2 (2001): 173–97.

Rosato, Sebastian. “The Inscrutable Intentions of Great Powers.” International Security 39, no. 3 (2014 / 15): 48–88.

Suzuk, Shogoi. “Japan’s Socialization into Janus-Faced European International Society.” European Journal of International Relations 11, no. 1 (2005): 137–64.


* Barnhart, Michael A. Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919–1941. Cornell University Press, 1988. ISBN: 9780801495298. [Preview with Google Books]

* Drea, Edward J. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853–1945. University of Kansas Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780700616633.

* Dudden, Alexis. Japan’s Colonization of Korea: Discourse and Power. University of Hawaii Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780824831394. [Preview with Google Books]

* Ike, Nobutaka. Japan’s Decision for War: Records of the 1941 Policy Conferences. Stanford University Press, 1967. ISBN: 9780804703055. [Preview with Google Books]

* Mahan, Alfred Thayer. The Problem of Asia and Its Effect Upon International Policies. The Classics, 2013. ISBN: 9781230302164.

* Morley, James William, ed. Japan Erupts: The London Naval Conference and the Manchurian Incident, 19281932. Columbia University Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780231057820.

* Rea, George Bronson. The Case for Manchukuo. D. Appleton-Century Company, 1935.


Japan and Old New World Orders

Can we derive lessons for Japanese security from the previous transitions in world orders? How does IR theory apply to Japanese history?


[I] Chapter 1: The Origins of Modern Japanese Diplomacy.

[I] Chapter 2: The Emergence of Japan as a Great Power.

[I] Chapter 3: The Road to Continentalism.

[I] Chapter 4: Japanese Diplomacy in Transition.

[I] Chapter 5: The Search for a New Order.

[I] Chapter 6: The Ideology of the Chinese-Japanese War.

[I] Chapter 7: The Road to the Pacific War.

[P] Chapter 5: The Challenge of International Liberalism.

[P] Chapter 6: Japan’s Abortive New Order.

[S] Chapter 1: Japan’s Grand Strategies: Connecting the Ideological Dots.

Kirshner, Jonathan. “The Economic Sins of Modern IR Theory and the Classical Realist Alternative.” World Politics 67, no. 1 (2015): 155–83.

Leheny, David. “Constructivism and International Relations in Asia.” Chapter 4 in The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia. Edited by Saadia M. Pekkanen, John Ravenhill, and Rosemary Foot. Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN: 9780199916245. [Preview with Google Books]

Rose, Gideon. “Neoclassical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy.” World Politics 51, no. 1 (1998): 144–72.


* [BU]

* Gilpin, Robert. War & Change in World Politics. Cambridge University Press, 1983. ISBN: 9780521273763. [Preview with Google Books]

Herbert, Hilary A. “Military Lessons of the Chino-Japanese War.” North American Review 160, no. 463 (1895): 685–99.

Kohno, Masaru. “East Asia and International Relations Theory.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 14, no. 1 (2014): 179–90.

* Snyder, Jack. Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition. Cornell University Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780801497643.


Technology, Ideology, Security, and Strategy

How are doctrine, ideology, technology and national security linked? How are they linked to grand strategy? What is the strategic relationship of the military and civilian economies?


[B] Chapter 1: Introduction.

[B] Chapter 2: Understanding the Globalization of Production.

[B] Chapter 3: Theoretical Foundations.

[B] Chapter 4: The Globalization of Production and Military Technological Competitiveness.

Gilpin, Robert. “Change and Continuity in World Politics.” Chapter 6 in War & Change in World Politics. Cambridge University Press, 1983. ISBN: 9780521273763. [Preview with Google Books]

Johnston, Alistair Iain. “Thinking About Strategic Culture.” International Security 19, no. 4 (1995): 32–64.

Samuels, Richard J. “The Ideological Basis of Japanese Technonationalism.” Chapter 2 in “Rich Nation: Strong Army”: National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan. Cornell University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780801499944. [Preview with Google Books]

Schoff, James L. “Navigating a New U.S.- Japan Defense Technology Frontier.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 10, 2015.


* Green, Michael J. Arming Japan: Defense Production, Alliance Politics, and the Postwar Search for Autonomy. Columbia University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780231102858.

* List, Friedrich. The National System of Political Economy: All Four Books and the Appendices in a Single Volume. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. ISBN: 9781976016578.

* McNeill, William H. The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society Since A.D. 1000. University of Chicago Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780226561585.

* Nef, John U. War and Human Progress: An Essay on the Rise of Industrial Civilization. W. W. Norton & Company, 1968. ISBN: 9780393004687.

II. Inside the Japanese System

Domestic Politics and Japanese Security

To what extent do values, norms, and ideas drive strategic choices in Japan? And where do they come from? Do they shape institutions or are they shaped by them? What is the role of civil society in constraining foreign policy choices? How important is partisanship?


[SM] Chapter 2: Diplomacy and Domestic Interests.

Daiki, Shibuichi. “The Yasukuni Shrine Dispute and the Politics of Identity in Japan: Why All the Fuss?Asian Survey 45, no. 2 (2005): 197–215.

He, Yinan. “Remembering and Forgetting the War: Elite Mythmaking, Mass Reaction, and Sino-Japanese Relations, 1950–2006.” History & Memory 19, no. 2 (2007): 43–74.

Ripsman, Norrin M. “Neoclassical Realism and Domestic Interest Groups.” Chapter 6 in Neoclassical Realism, the State, and Foreign Policy. Edited by Steven E. Lobell, Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jeffrey W. Taliaferro. Cambridge University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780521731928. [Preview with Google Books]

Ripsman, Norrin M., Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, et al, eds. “Introduction.” In Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics. Oxford University Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780199899258. [Preview with Google Books]

———. “The Future of the Neoclassical Realist Research Agenda.” Chapter 7 in Neoclassical Realist Theory of International Politics. Oxford University Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780199899258.

Saltzman, Ilai Z. “Growing Pains: Neoclassical Realism and Japan’s Security Policy Emancipation.” Contemporary Security Policy 36, no. 3 (2015): 498–527.


* Breen, John, ed. Yasukuni, the War Dead, and the Struggle for Japan’s Past. Columbia University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780231700429.

Fearon, James D. “Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy, and Theories of International Relations.” Annual Review of Political Science 1 (1998): 289–313.

Green, Michael J. “Japan is Back: Unbundling Japan’s Grand Strategy.” Lowy Institute for International Policy, December 17, 2013.

Hymans, Jacques E.C. “Veto Players, Nuclear Energy, and Nonproliferation: Domestic Institutional Barriers to a Japanese Bomb.” (PDF) International Security 36, no. 2 (2011): 154–89.

* Midford, Paul. Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism? Stanford University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780804772174. [Preview with Google Books]

Putnam, Robert D. “Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games.” International Organization 42, no. 3 (1988): 427–60.

Smith, Sheila A. Shifting Terrain: The Domestic Politics of the U.S. Military Presence in Asia. East-West Center, 2006. ISBN: 9780866382038.


Japanese Foreign Economic Policy

What are the instruments and institutions of Japanese foreign economic policy? How are trade and aid linked to security and grand strategy?


Armstrong, Shiro, and Peter Drysdale. “Japan’s Foreign Economic Policy Strategies and Economic Performance.” Columbia Business School, Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Working Paper Series, no. 340, October 2014.

Baldwin, Richard. “21st Century Regionalism: Filling the Gap between 21st Century Trade and 20th Century Trade Rules.” (PDF - 1.1MB) Centre for Economic Policy Research, Policy Insight no. 56, May 2011.

Dent, Christopher M. “Free Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific a Decade On: Evaluating the Past, Looking to the Future.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 10, no. 2 (2010): 201–45.

McBride, James, and Beina Xu. “Abenomics and the Japanese Economy.” Council on Foreign Relations, February 10, 2017.

Solís, Mireya, and Saori N. Katada. “Unlikely Pivotal States in Competitive Free Trade Agreement Diffusion: The Effect of Japan’s Participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Asia-Pacific Integration.” New Political Economy 20, no. 2 (2015): 155–77.


* Mason, Mark. American Multinationals and Japan: The Political Economy of Japanese Capital Controls, 1899–1980. Harvard University Asia Center, 1992. ISBN: 9780674026308. [Preview with Google Books]

* Schoppa, Leonard J. Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do. Columbia University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780231105903. [Preview with Google Books]


Civil-Military Relations in Japan

How have bureaucrats and politicians interacted and how have they maintained control of the Japanese military?


[S] Chapter 2: Baking the Pacifist Loaf.

[S] Chapter 3: The Change to Change.

[S] Chapter 4: Whither the Yoshida Doctrine?

[S] Chapter 5: The Discourse.

Desch, Michael C. “Civilian Control of the Military in Different Threat Environments.” Chapter 2 in Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780801866395. [Preview with Google Books]

Frühstück, Sabine, and Eyal Ben-Ari. “’Now We Show It All!’ Normalization and the Management of Violence in Japan’s Armed Forces.” Journal of Japanese Studies 28, no. 1 (2002): 1–39.

Samuels, Richard J. “Never Waste a Good Crisis.” Chapter 2 in 3:11: Disaster and Change in Japan. Cornell University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780801452000. [Preview with Google Books]

———. “Dueling Security Narratives.” Chapter 4 in 3:11: Disaster and Change in Japan. Cornell University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780801452000. [Preview with Google Books]

Tamogami, Toshio. “Was Japan an Aggressor Nation?” (PDF) 2008.


* Frühstück, Sabine. Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army. University of California Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780520247956. [Preview with Google Books]

* Huntington, Samuel P. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. Belknap Press, 1981. ISBN: 9780674817364.

* Janowitz, Morris. The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait. Free Press, 2017. ISBN: 9781501179327. [Preview with Google Books]

* Maxon, Yale Candee. Control of Japanese Foreign Policy: A Study of Civil-Military Rivalry, 1930_–1945_. Praeger, 1973. ISBN: 9780837167282.

* Yoshida, Shigeru. The Yoshida Memoirs: The Story of Japan in Crisis. Greenwood, 1973. ISBN: 9780837167336.


The Japan-US Alliance: A Bilateral View

How do U.S.-Japan bilateral relations shape Japan’s strategic choices? How do Japan and the United States balance political, military, economic, and technological interests without one another?


[S] Chapter 6: The New Threat Environment.

[S] Chapter 7: Meeting (and Making) Threats.

Finnegan, Michael. “Managing Unmet Expectations in the U.S.-Japan Alliance.” NBR Special Report 17. National Bureau of Asian Research, November 2009.

Kennan, George F. “Japanese Security and American Policy.” Foreign Affairs 43, no. 1 (1964): 14–28.

Snyder, Glenn H. “The Security Dilemma in Alliance Politics.” World Politics 36, no. 4 (1984): 461–95.

Storch, Thomas. “Putting ‘Meat on the Bones’ of the U.S.-Japan Alliance Coordination Mechanism.” (PDF) Sasakawa USA Forum Issue no. 2, 2016.


Chanlett-Avery, Emma, Mark E. Manyin, et al. “Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress.” (PDF - 1.7MB) CRS Report, Congressional Research Service, June 23, 2016.

Lostumbo, Michael J., Michael McNerney, et al. Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces: An Assessment of Relative Costs and Strategic Benefits. RAND Corporation, 2013. ISBN: 9780833079145. [Preview with Google Books]

Katahara, Eiichi, ed. East Asian Strategic Review 2013. National Institute for Defense Studies, 2013. ISBN: 9784789015264.

Pollack, Jonathan D. “U.S. Strategies in Northeast Asia: A Revisionist Hegemon.” Chapter 3 in Power and Security in Northeast Asia: Shifting Strategies. Edited by Byung-Kook Kim and Anthony Jones. Lynne Rienner, 2007. ISBN: 9781588265067.

Swaine, Michael D., Mike M. Mochizuki, et al. “Executive Summary: China’s Military & the U.S.-Japan Alliance in 2030 - A Strategic Net Assessment.” (PDF) Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2013.

Takahashi, Sugio.“Rebuilding Deterrence: Post-2015 Defense Guidelines Challenges Facing the U.S.-Japan Alliance.” (PDF) Project 2049 Institute, May 2015.

III. Japan and the World System

China, Korea, and Southeast Asia: The Regional View

From the Guam to the Fukuda to the Koizumi Doctrines and beyond. Japanese relations with its neighbors. Collective security and confidence building in Northeast, East and Southeast Asia. The rise of China, the Northern Territories, Korean Unification, the DPRK.


[SM] Chapter 1: Contending with China.

[SM] Chapter 6: Island Defense.

Cha, Victor D. “Abandonment, Entrapment, and Neoclassical Realism in Asia: The United States, Japan, and Korea.” International Studies Quarterly 44, no. 2 (2000): 261–91.

Jervis, Robert. “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma.” World Politics 30, no. 2 (1978): 167–214.

Johnston, Alastair Iain. “What (If Anything) Does East Asia Tell Us About International Relations Theory?Annual Review of Political Science 15 (2012): 53–78.

Samuels, Richard J., and James L. Schoff. “Japan’s Nuclear Hedge: Beyond ‘Allergy’ and Breakout.” Political Science Quarterly 130, no. 3 (2015): 475–503.

Smith, Paul J. “The Senkaku / Diaoyu Island Controversy: A Crisis Postponed.” Naval War College Review 66, no. 2 (2013): 27–44.


* Bush, Richard C. The Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations. Brookings Institution Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780815725473.

Callahan, Bill. “Mearsheimer vs. Nye on the Rise of China.” The Diplomat, July 8, 2015.

Jones, David Martin, and Michael L.R. Smith. “Making Process, Not Progress: ASEAN and the Evolving East Asian Regional Order.” International Security 32, no. 1 (2007): 148–84.

Kang, David C. “Getting Asia Wrong: The Need for New Analytical Frameworks.” International Security 27, no. 4 (2003): 57–85.

* Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. Exodus to North Korea: Shadows from Japan’s Cold War. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007. ISBN: 9780742554429. [Preview with Google Books]

“Report of the Advisory Panel on the History of the 20th Century and on Japan’s Role and the World Order in the 21st Century.” (PDF) August 6, 2015. (Read pp. 22–31.)

Samuels, Richard J. “‘New Fighting Power!’: Japan’s Growing Maritime Capabilities and East Asian Security.” International Security 32, no. 3 (2007 / 2008): 84–112.


Japan’s Global Role

Is Japan a “great power”? What global public goods has it created—at United Nations? With its ODA? By championing non-proliferation? What of its international security role after the first Gulf War and in Iraq? And what of more recent anti-piracy campaigns?


[BU] Chapter 9: The Great Powers and International Order.

[BU] Chapter 10: Alternatives to the Contemporary States System.

[S] “Conclusion: Japan’s Evolving Grand Strategy.”

Kirshner, Jonathan. “The Tragedy of Offensive Realism: Classical Realism and the Rise of China.” European Journal of International Relations 18, no. 1 (2012): 53–75.

* Mearsheimer, John J. “Great Power Politics in the Twenty-first Century.” Chapter 10 in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. ISBN: 9780393349276.

Midford, Paul. “Historical Memory Versus Democratic Reassurance: The Security Relationship between Japan and South Korea.” Chapter 5 in Changing Power Relations in Northeast Asia: Implications for Relations Between Japan and South Korea. Edited by Marie Soderberg. Routledge, 2013. ISBN: 9780415855334.


The Council on Security and Defense Capabilities Report, August 2009.

* Ozawa, Ichiro. Blueprint for a New Japan: The Rethinking of a Nation. Kodansha International, 1994. ISBN: 9784770018717.

IV. Analysis and Prognostication
10 Student briefings on US-Japan bilateral topics No readings assigned
11 Student briefings on regional topics No readings assigned
12 Student briefings on global topics No readings assigned

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples