Japan's International Democracy Assistance as Soft Power: Neoclassical Realist Analysis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Japan's International Democracy Assistance as Soft Power

Neoclassical Realist Analysis, 1st Edition

By Maiko Ichihara


150 pages

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Japan has increasingly emphasized democracy assistance since the mid-2000s, such that it now constitutes a major part of Japan’s foreign policy. This approach is an ostensible departure from the country’s traditional foreign policy stance, which tries to avoid bringing values to the forefront of foreign policies. This book intends to answer the questions of why Japan has started emphasizing democracy assistance and why it has relegated itself to a minor role in democracy assistance nevertheless. It argues that Japan’s emphasis on democracy assistance reveals its intention to increase its political influence with regards to China based on democratic values, and its usage of the term "democracy assistance" is a performative speech act to orchestrate a comprehensive approach for international democracy support. Shedding light on the novel aspect of Japanese policy, this book contributes to the understanding of Japanese foreign policy and democracy promotion. Providing the analysis that state’s speech act could cause to create foreign policies that counter what is predicted by structural realism, this analysis makes contributions to neoclassical realism which explains states’ foreign policy choices within the constraints of international structure.

Table of Contents


Glossary of Terms

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: What is Democracy Assistance?

Chapter 3: Japan’s Democracy Assistance Policies and Practice

Chapter 4: International System-Level Factors

Chapter 5: Domestic-Level Factors



About the Author

Maiko Ichihara is Associate Professor at Hitotsubashi University, Japan

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / National
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies