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Economic Diplomacy: Japan and the Balance of National Interests

15 Jul 2013 - 12:50

Economic diplomacy is back. Globalization and shifting power balances between the West and East Asia are creating new incentives and conditions for governments in all parts of the world to adopt more proactive economic diplomacy. This publication by Maaike Okano-Heijmans sheds new light on the fascinating and burgeoning field of economic diplomacy.

While increasingly more foreign ministries are shifting their attention from traditional state-to-state diplomacy to a multi-dimensional economic diplomacy, the book’s focus on Japan provides a thought-provoking impetus for academics and policy makers alike. A conceptual-study mode of economic diplomacy is combined with applied analysis of Japan’s economic diplomacy practice. The two approaches reinforce one another, yielding a conceptualization of economic diplomacy that is grounded in practical insights.

A comprehensive approach
A core argument in the book is that economic diplomacy, strategically, affirms that economic/commercial interests and political interests reinforce one another and should thus be seen in tandem. This contrasts with the predominant approach in the transatlantic world, which attaches relatively greater importance to the military–economic linkage in the quest for influence.

The case of Japan
Japan has employed economic diplomacy as a central instrument of its foreign policy and quest for national security since the post-war period. The reconfiguration of regional and global power that started in the 1990s encouraged the Japanese government, in coordination and cooperation with the private sector, to reassess its economic diplomacy policy.

Power shifts
Economic Diplomacy: Japan and the Balance of National Interests illuminates the debates underlying these shifts, the various ways by which Japan’s reinvention of its economic diplomacy is implemented, and the consequences for Japanese foreign policy at large.

Practical relevance
The critical insights offered by the examination of Japan are pertinent for Western countries, as well as for other East Asian nations. They will be of interest to scholars and practitioners of diplomacy, international relations and international economic law and policy.

This book is the ninth volume in the Diplomatic Studies series, edited by Jan Melissen and published by Brill, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

For more information see brill.com/economic-diplomacy-0.