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Japan's Recalibration of Risk: The Framing of North Korea

Mason, Ra (2012) Japan's Recalibration of Risk: The Framing of North Korea. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the role of risk in international relations – including its interactive relationship with domestic civil society – from a case study perspective. The research aims to disentangle complex processes by which Japan has framed and recalibrated risks in response to North Korea, and how those risks have been mediated between the state, market and society . Therein, while acknowledging the relevance of established International Relations (IR) theories, it highlights their limitations in terms of an inability to comprehensively assign agency for processes of inter-state-society change, and state governance. The study is, therefore, necessary in order to better understand how such processes are socio-politically contingent in relation to risk, and the implications for issues of national security and identity. This includes stimulating further research into how risk is instrumental in justifying political agendas, facilitating policy reforms, and as a key agent in continuing discourses. In order to gain an empirical understanding of how agency operates within processes of risk recalibration across domestic and international spheres, actors such as policy makers, mass media, and civil society stakeholders have been identified as the primary targets of analysis. A combination of Constructivist-derived theories and conceptions from literature on risk are employed as the theoretical framework within which to analyse empirical data – primarily pertaining to Japan’s responses to post-Cold War North Korean missile and nuclear tests – assimilated from a combination of qualitative and quantitative sources relating to the areas specified above. The conclusion drawn from the case studies examined is that the recalibration of risk by Japan in response to North Korea highlights how risk governance at the state level – via processes of mediation between the state, market and domestic society – causes reverberations at bilateral, regional and, ultimately, global levels. Specifically, in the case of Japan, there has been a significant impact in terms of changes to societal norms, national identity and state-level policies; facilitated through the aggregated processes of risk recalibration.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: The above thesis has been submitted (December 2011, Sheffield; January 2012, Tohoku)in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. This will be conferred by both institutions as a dual-degree.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of East Asian Studies (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Ra Mason
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2012 14:25
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2013 11:03
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2151

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