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Title: Japan's persistent engagement policy toward Myanmar in the post-Cold War era : a case of Japan's 'problem-driven pragmatism'
Author: Morii, Kazunari
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 2718
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis engages in the debates on Japan’s foreign policy objectives and direction in the post-Cold War era by examining the case of Japan’s Myanmar policy with a particular focus on the question as to why Japan maintained its engagement policy line, although shifting to a more critical one, toward the Myanmar military government which was established in 1988. This thesis employs the analytical framework of neoclassical realism, recognizing international structure as the primary determinant of a state’s foreign policy while at the same time shedding light on domestic level factors, namely policy-makers’ perceptions, the government’s resource mobilization and the domestic policy-making system as intervening variables that incorporate international structural incentives into a state’s actual conduct of foreign policy. In conclusion, the empirical study reveals that Japan adhered to an engagement policy primarily because of Japanese policy-makers’ perceptions that it was the most practical and effective policy to promote Myanmar’s political and economic development, which would eventually contribute to regional stability and progress. This indicates a persistent feature of Japan’s foreign policy which can be described as ‘problem-driven pragmatism’, or Japan’s behavioural pattern of taking actions in response to concrete problems and pursuing practical problem-solving for bringing about incremental and pragmatic improvements in the problems by making necessary compromises with structural pressures and existing systems. This thesis makes a distinctive contribution from three aspects: providing new empirical evidence which fills the gap in conventional debates on Japan’s Myanmar policy objectives; proposing ‘problem-driven pragmatism’ as a new model of Japan’s foreign policy which addresses the shortcomings of existing arguments; and, affirming the applicability and efficacy of neoclassical realism for foreign policy analysis with the implication that it is necessary to examine multiple foreign policy agendas and multi-dimensional international structure in comprehending the critical tradeoffs that a state often faces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Japan
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JQ Political institutions (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)