The influence of nationalism on Sino-Japanese relations

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Wilson, Lindsey Amber

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This thesis examines the influence of domestic nationalist movements on bilateral relations between China and Japan. I will use Two-level game theory as the primary analytical framework. Two-level theory provides a useful lens for examining policy formation at discrete stages, domestic, international, and domestic again in order to ratify international agreements. I will examine three primary cases through this framework to study the effects of domestic nationalism on bilateral diplomacy between Japan and China. The East China Sea Dispute is the only actual territorial dispute between Japan and China. The Yasukuni Shrine controversy and the textbook controversy are both discrete elements of a larger dispute over war memory and guilt, as well as construction of historical narratives for political purpose. I will seek to show that domestic nationalism has a strong limiting effect on the ways in which China and Japan are able to interact with each other on the global stage, as leaders must retain their legitimacy against a backdrop of unresolved historical issues and domestic contention.




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