Japan Prepares for Total War

Author: Michael A. Barnhart
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801468450
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The roots of Japan's aggressive, expansionist foreign policy have often been traced to its concern over acute economic vulnerability. Michael A. Barnhart tests this assumption by examining the events leading up to World War II in the context of Japan's quest for economic security, drawing on a wide array of Japanese and American sources. Barnhart focuses on the critical years from 1938 to 1941 as he investigates the development of Japan's drive for national economic self-sufficiency and independence and the way in which this drive shaped its internal and external policies. He also explores American economic pressure on Tokyo and assesses its impact on Japan's foreign policy and domestic economy. He concludes that Japan's internal political dynamics, especially the bitter rivalry between its army and navy, played a far greater role in propelling the nation into war with the United States than did its economic condition or even pressure from Washington. Japan Prepares for Total War sheds new light on prewar Japan and confirms the opinions of those in Washington who advocated economic pressure against Japan.

The George Hicks Collection at the National Library Singapore

Author: Eunice Low
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004323996
Format: PDF, Docs
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The George Hicks Collection focuses on four main subject areas – Southeast Asia, China, Japan and overseas Chinese – spanning the disciplines of history, sociology, economics, political science and anthropology. The body of works in the Collection reveals Mr Hicks’ profound interest in Asia and his scholarly pursuits over the decades.

Japan in the World

Author: Klaus Schlichtmann
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739132695
Format: PDF, ePub
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The twentieth century is as remarkable for its world wars as it is for its efforts to outlaw war in international and constitutional law and politics. Japan in the World examines some of these efforts through the life and work of Shidehara Kijuro, who was active as diplomat and statesman between 1896 until his death in 1951. Shidehara is seen as a guiding thread running through the first five decades of the twentieth century. Through the 1920s until the beginning of the 1930s, his foreign policy shaped Japan's place within the community of nations. The positive role Japan played in international relations and the high esteem in which it was held at that time goes largely to his credit. As Prime Minister and 'man of the hour' after the Second World War, he had a hand in shaping the new beginning for post-war Japan, instituting policies that would start his country on a path to peace and prosperity. Accessing previously unpublished archival materials, Schlichtmann examines the work of this pacifist statesman, situating Shidehara within the context of twentieth century statecraft and international politics. While it was an age of devastating total wars that took a vast toll of civilian lives, the politics and diplomatic history between 1899 and 1949 also saw the light of new developments in international and constitutional law to curtail state sovereignty and reach a peaceful order of international affairs. Japan in the World is an essential resource for understanding that nation's contributions to these world-changing developments.

The Ideology of the Offensive

Author: Jack Snyder
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801468612
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Jack Snyder's analysis of the attitudes of military planners in the years prior to the Great War offers new insight into the tragic miscalculations of that era and into their possible parallels in present-day war planning. By 1914, the European military powers had adopted offensive military strategies even though there was considerable evidence to support the notion that much greater advantage lay with defensive strategies. The author argues that organizational biases inherent in military strategists' attitudes make war more likely by encouraging offensive postures even when the motive is self-defense. Drawing on new historical evidence of the specific circumstances surrounding French, German, and Russian strategic policy, Snyder demonstrates that it is not only rational analysis that determines strategic doctrine, but also the attitudes of military planners. Snyder argues that the use of rational calculation often falls victim to the pursuit of organizational interests such as autonomy, prestige, growth, and wealth. Furthermore, efforts to justify the preferred policy bring biases into strategists' decisions—biases reflecting the influences of parochial interests and preconceptions, and those resulting from attempts to simplify unduly their analytical tasks. The frightening lesson here is that doctrines can be destabilizing even when weapons are not, because doctrine may be more responsive to the organizational needs of the military than to the implications of the prevailing weapons technology. By examining the historical failure of offensive doctrine, Jack Snyder makes a valuable contribution to the literature on the causes of war.

The Ethics of Destruction

Author: Ward Thomas
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801471680
Format: PDF, Docs
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Many assume that in international politics, and especially in war, "anything goes." Sherman famously declared war "is all hell." The implication behind the maxim is that in war there is no order, only chaos; no mercy, only cruelty; no restraint, only suffering. Ward Thomas finds that this "anything goes" view is demonstrably wrong. It neither reflects how most people talk about the use of force in international relations nor describes the way national leaders actually use military force. Events such as those in Europe during World War II, in the Persian Gulf War, and in Kosovo cannot be understood, he argues, until we realize that state behavior, even during wartime, is shaped by common understandings about what is ethically acceptable and unacceptable. Thomas makes extensive use of two cases—the assassination of foreign leaders and the aerial bombardment of civilians—to trace the relative influence of norms and interests. His insistence on interconnections between ethical principle and material power leads to a revised understanding of the role of normative factors in foreign policy and the ways in which power and interest shape the international system.

Dictators at War and Peace

Author: Jessica L. P. Weeks
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801455235
Format: PDF, ePub
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Why do some autocratic leaders pursue aggressive or expansionist foreign policies, while others are much more cautious in their use of military force? The first book to focus systematically on the foreign policy of different types of authoritarian regimes, Dictators at War and Peace breaks new ground in our understanding of the international behavior of dictators. Jessica L. P. Weeks explains why certain kinds of regimes are less likely to resort to war than others, why some are more likely to win the wars they start, and why some authoritarian leaders face domestic punishment for foreign policy failures whereas others can weather all but the most serious military defeat. Using novel cross-national data, Weeks looks at various nondemocratic regimes, including those of Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin; the Argentine junta at the time of the Falklands War, the military government in Japan before and during World War II, and the North Vietnamese communist regime. She finds that the differences in the conflict behavior of distinct kinds of autocracies are as great as those between democracies and dictatorships. Indeed, some types of autocracies are no more belligerent or reckless than democracies, casting doubt on the common view that democracies are more selective about war than autocracies.

Revolution and War

Author: Stephen M. Walt
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801470005
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Revolution within a state almost invariably leads to intense security competition between states, and often to war. In Revolution and War, Stephen M. Walt explains why this is so, and suggests how the risk of conflicts brought on by domestic upheaval might be reduced in the future. In doing so, he explores one of the basic questions of international relations: What are the connections between domestic politics and foreign policy? Walt begins by exposing the flaws in existing theories about the relationship between revolution and war. Drawing on the theoretical literature about revolution and the realist perspective on international politics, he argues that revolutions cause wars by altering the balance of threats between a revolutionary state and its rivals. Each state sees the other as both a looming danger and a vulnerable adversary, making war seem both necessary and attractive. Walt traces the dynamics of this argument through detailed studies of the French, Russian, and Iranian revolutions, and through briefer treatment of the American, Mexican, Turkish, and Chinese cases. He also considers the experience of the Soviet Union, whose revolutionary transformation led to conflict within the former Soviet empire but not with the outside world. An important refinement of realist approaches to international politics, this book unites the study of revolution with scholarship on the causes of war.