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Russian-Japanese relations: What role for the Far East?

Moodgal, Rahul Nath (2006) Russian-Japanese relations: What role for the Far East? MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The domestic transition process of the former Eastern bloc has been accompanied by an international systematic metamorphosis that has made the domestic as unpredictable as the international, against a backdrop of increasing numbers of actors. The collapse of central authority has exacerbated the rise of regions and global relations. Classical theories that revolved around the state, such as statehood and sovereignty, are now in disarray. Within the state and international political economy there has been an exponential growth in actors that are responsible for changes in the nature and structure of relations. One such actor is the subnational region. This volume focuses on one such region - the Russian Far East (henceforth the Far East) - and its role in Russian-Japanese relations. Moreover, it looks at how roles might change. It provides the basis for building a model, concept, theory or notion that could be used as the basis for determining and/or investigating the roles regions can play in the changing international political economy. This volume is the culmination of ten plus years of work. Its intention is to examine the role that subnational regions, henceforth regions, can and do play in a changing international political economy. Changes in the international political economy mean regions now have the ability to play a role in international relations. In some cases they have entirely redefined the nature of relations. This raises the question as to whether regions have become actors in their own right - both within the state and the international political economy. This thesis investigates this and related issues, by using the Far East, as a case study vis-a-vis its relations with Japan. Whether the Far East can truly be considered to play a role, in this case in shaping relations with Japan, is central to this piece of work. Indeed, although issues within Russia (local, regional, subnational, centre-periphery, national) and in North-East Asia complicate this study they do make for a more than interesting case study and one that is relevant to many themes and issues in international relations. The Far East continues to be of interest to academics from all disciplines and policymakers alike. Russian-Japanese relations are a critical framework for understanding the development and the role of this region. Geographical proximity, historical interaction, complementary economics, the balance of power and the need for the resolution of a territorial dispute confirm this. Traditionally, studies about the Far East focused on the region's resources within the context of North-East Asian geopolitics. There has been a continuous debate as to whether the region is Russia's outpost or gateway vis-a-vis North-East Asia. Since Gorbachev's 1986 Vladivostok and 1988 Krasnoiarsk speeches the Far East seemed destined to be a gateway. However, post-communist transition, centre-periphery conflicts and the reality of the anti-resource thesis have thrown the region into disarray. The Far East's resources are well documented; they form the basis for the renaissance of contemporary interest with the view to potential exploitation and local decision-making. Meanwhile, contemporary studies of Russian-Japanese relations have been dominated by the Kuril Islands/Northern Territories, but perhaps needlessly so. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Government
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2926

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