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The Sino-Japanese security nexus: Evaluating the theoretical adequacy of exclusively applied IR theories as explanatory devices of empirical case studies and the practicability of an eclectic way forward

Lee-Brown, Troy (2014) The Sino-Japanese security nexus: Evaluating the theoretical adequacy of exclusively applied IR theories as explanatory devices of empirical case studies and the practicability of an eclectic way forward. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Since the beginning of this decade, Sino-Japanese relations have deteriorated to an antagonistic level not seen for half a century. For a region that will be ultimately defined by either cooperation or conflict, the ongoing relationship between these two Northeast Asian powers is pivotal for the international political economy and moreover, ongoing regional and global security. Whilst the three predominant international relations (IR) theories (realism, liberalism and social constructivism) illuminate many crucial insights into the recent breakdown in amicable Sino-Japanese relations, no single IR theory presents an adequate, stand-alone explanation for heightened tensions in the bi-lateral relationship. To overcome this theoretical deficiency, this thesis will incorporate the application of IR analytical eclecticism, and by combining strands of realist and constructivist thought, will seek to provide a more nuanced, yet holistic understanding of the factors impacting on increased Sino-Japanese tensions. By doing so, it hopes to bridge the gap between IR theory and the practical application of policy and therefore, present a real-world understanding of increased Sino-Japanese tensions for theorists and policy practitioners alike. Although it is beyond the scope of this essay to provide a comprehensive understanding of Sino-Japanese tensions, it does hope to illustrate that analytical eclecticism is a neat tool when applied to specific case studies and therefore encourage its greater utilization in the field of international relations.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Supervisor: Beeson, Mark
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24665
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