Conceptualising the nature of relations between the European Union and Japan: Using the frameworks of Identity and rational choice Analytic Narratives as a means to interpret this dynamic relationship, 1990-2005.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis explores the bilateral relationship between the European Union (EU) and Japan as interregional partners and as united global actors. The principal aim is to navigate the nature of relations between these two diverse entities asserting that ideology, culture and identity formation contribute significantly to the joint policies undertaken by these two groups. The theoretical assumptions of this thesis are discussed in parallel to observable phenomena relative to the nature of relations between the EU and Japan, 1990-2005. This research analyses EU and Japan interactions from the Joint Declaration 1991 and including the Action Plan 2001 and aims to use the theoretical concepts of Identity. The frameworks of the Four Point Plan and the Analytic Narrative are appropriate to gain insight to the nature of these relations. Both the Four Point Plan and the Analytic Narrative are broad in scope but defined in nature, thus they are most suitable for the purpose of this analysis. This multidisciplinary approach enables the deconstruction of the influence held by 'identity' in domestic and international policy, outlining that policy influences such as preference and 'stories'! affect the relationship between the EU and Japan. This modem research angle serves to emphasise the uniqueness of the EU and Japan as international actors. The United States and rise of China act as intervening variables, and their secondary role highlights the changing global environment over this period.