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Title: Risk and securitization in Japan, 1945-1960
Author: Williamson, Piers Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 1680 7474
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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IR scholars influenced by Ulrich Beck's 'risk society' school have emphasized a shift from a Cold War rationality of 'threat' to a post-Cold War rationality of 'risk'. This dissertation argues that the assumption of a post-Cold War change in rationality stems from a failure within the IR literature to clearly distinguish between 'threat' and 'risk'. In contrast, because scholars influenced by the work of Michel Foucault have noted that domestic 'risks' to 'populations' have been central to the 'reason d' etat' of the modem state, it follows that modem states were also concerned with external 'risks' during the Cold War. The securitization process which occurred in Japan between 1945 and 1960 is used as a case study to verify that deduction given the historical link between 'security', 'modernity' and social resistance in that country. It is argued that 'risk' was central to securitization at this time. Using Ideational Institutionalism, this dissertation draws from work done on 'risk' within sociology to build a theory of 'risk' for international relations. The focus is on the 'logics of appropriateness and consequences' employed by US and Japanese 'policymakers' to 'securitize' risk prevention measures, and the alternative logics behind the preemptive attempt at 'desecuritization' made by 'progressive intellectuals' working on the Peace Issues Discussion Group (PIDG). The statements which the PIDG produced galvanized social resistance to the state in the 1950s with 'risk' being central to the construction of the 'antimilitarist' norm. In examining this area, Niklas Luhmann's notion of 'primary' and 'secondary' risks is also used to develop a conceptual scheme which may elucidate risk rationalities within policy documents. Overall, it is held that the Cold War masked the crucial issue of 'risk' faced by the Japanese state and its people in the immediate postwar period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available