Discourses of Civilisation in International Politics: The Case of Japan
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Recent discourse in international politics has seen a remarkable increase in the use of the word ‘civilisation’. This phenomenon has stimulated research that seeks to investigate the concept of the ‘standard of civilisation’ in the historical development of international politics, and the implications that this has had and may continue to have on the regional and global level. In this context, this thesis examines the evolving idea of the standard of civilisation as it relates to Japan. Throughout this investigation, the thesis sheds light on a nexus between the discourse of civilisation and militarisation. The linkage between civilisation and militarisation is most evident in the debate over Japan’s remilitarisation in the post-Second World War era. In analysing this case, the thesis also points out the potential ramifications of the discourse of civilisation in international politics, including issues surrounding the promotion of liberal democracy and the military alliance relationship between the United States and Japan. The thesis concludes by stating the importance of an awareness of dangers that may manifest themselves as a consequence of the linkage between civilisation and militarisation.