The Nation-State/Empire as a Unit of Analysis in the History of International Relations: A Case Study in Northeast Asia, 1868-1933

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    In this chapter I propose the notion of the �nation state/empire� as a new way of conceptualising an actor in international politics, and as a basic unit in an analysis of international politics for the period between the late nineteenth century and 1945. The period is exemplary for two reasons. First, in the late nineteenth century, the nation state that was based on popular or national principles of legitimacy became prominent: at the same time, many nation states were competing for new colonial acquisitions. Second, as elaborated below, many empires retained formal colonies throughout the interwar period. In the first section of the chapter I will demonstrate how this notion of the nation state/empire can be located in debates on the state system. Acknowledging a recent move to incorporate empire both as an idea and as an actor in analyses of international relations, the chapter nonetheless questions a still widely assumed dichotomy between the nation state and empire in these works, and suggests the need to see them as an integral unit. This also means the need to see the European state system and the extra European system as an integral whole. It argues that the international society of the time may be best understood not as a society of relatively equal national states, but as one composed of nation states/empires with diverse power. In the second section of this chapter I apply this notion whilst examining the international politics of Northeast Asia between the late nineteenth century and 1933. I see Japan as an empire in which the problem of the international society of nation states/empires was manifested.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Nation State and Beyond: Governing Globalization Processes in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
    Editors Iseballa Lohr and Roland Wenzlhuemer
    Place of PublicationHeidelberg
    PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
    Pages177-208
    Edition1st
    ISBN (Print)9783642329333
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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