By Lindsay Black (auth.)
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Extra resources for Japan’s Maritime Security Strategy: The Japan Coast Guard and Maritime Outlaws
To provide one example from this book, Prime Minister Obuchi Keiz¯ o quickly retreated from his proposal to establish a regional Coast Guard or a UN Ocean Peacekeeping Operation (UNOPKO) when these proposals met with resistance from Southeast Asian representatives. As a result, successive Japanese governments did not impose a solution to maritime security threats in Southeast Asia, but rather facilitated multilateral dialogue that took into account national and regional concerns and identities.
Indeed, if norms can account for both continuity and change in the behaviour of actors in the international system, then the explanatory value of norms is suspect as norms can potentially be employed to explain whatever the analyst chooses (Kowert and Legro 1996: 482–97). Critiques also contend that in stressing the importance of social factors, constructivism creates a dichotomy between social and material explanations, encouraging researchers to perceive one set of forces as being more potent than the other (Dessler 1999: 127).
Such an approach contrasts with the US Regional Maritime Security Initiative (RMSI) proposal that failed to take account of national and regional positions. Challenging the orientalist discourse inherent in the English School requires a critique of the School’s teleological argument through an engagement with postcolonial International Relations theory (Ling 2001) to comprehend the sources of national and regional concerns within a society of states. To tackle the second issue of norm entrepreneurship, postcolonialist and culturalist perspectives demonstrate how foreign policies are conditioned by agents who perceive their state’s identity in relation to international society.