International Politics Major

Characteristics of Main Course Subjects

Security Theory

Understand how war, peace, and security issues are explained from a theoretical perspective in modern international politics. The theory here is not a kind of “ism” theory such as realism or liberalism. In the field of international politics, the construction of empirical theories using scientific methods, including mathematical and quantitative analysis, has progressed rapidly since the 2000s. International politics as an empirical social science, and security theory as a field within it, are not limited to descriptions or depictions of questions such as “Why does war happen?” and “Why does a nation take on a certain kind of security policy?” These are disciplines that seek to systematically explain these phenomena based on evidence (scientific proof) obtained from empirical studies. In this course, we will read fundamental texts on the theories and empirical studies related to security, and we aim to cultivate the ability to understand and critique the texts independently.

Foreign Policy

This course introduces students to the major approaches to understanding postwar Japan’s foreign and security policies. The course is divided into three parts. The first part introduces the different approaches to analyzing Japanese foreign and security polices and follows the development of the country’s grand strategy from the prewar to the post-Cold War period. The second part covers major themes including Japan’s changing security policies and related constitutional politics, international trade and regional economic strategies, and relationship with the United Nations. The final part addresses Japan’s bilateral relations with important partners and competitors, including the United States, China, South Korea, Russia and North Korea. In all three parts, emphasis is placed on evaluating changes from the Cold War to post-Cold War periods.