Cover of The Japanese Challenge to the American Neoliberal World Order by Yong Wook Lee
The Japanese Challenge to the American Neoliberal World Order
Identity, Meaning, and Foreign Policy
Yong Wook Lee

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2008
304 pages.
$62.50

Cloth ISBN: 9780804758123

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The first academic publication to explicitly link capitalism to Japan's particular foreign economic policy choices, this book offers a historically informed account of the nature and evolution of the Japanese challenge to neoliberalism. Central to this book's analysis are the historically and socially constructed Japanese conceptions of Japan's economic identity—conceptions that have shaped Japan's interest in challenging the American-led neoliberal world order. With historical analysis beginning in the 1870s, this book explicates several of Japan's key foreign policy choices, including the Asian Monetary Fund decision in 1997, and draws out the future policy implications of these choices.

About the author

Yong Wook Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He previously taught and researched as a Freeman Fellow in the Department of East Asian Studies and the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. This is his first book.

"This is an outstanding first book."

— Charles John Rowe, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies

"The Japanese Challenge to the American Neoliberal World Order is an ambitious piece of work. In it, Young Lee seeks not only to describe and explain what he sees as the 'Japanese challenge" to the U.S-dominated international economic order but also to issue his own challenge to the field of international relations by developing and applying a sophisticated theoretical framework."

—William W. Grimes, Journal of Japanese Studies

"Lee's book is a timely and important contribution."

—Brian J. McVeigh, H-Net Reviews

"This book makes both theoretical/methodological and empirical contributions, and thus should be read by both constructivists and Japanese experts . . . [It] is significant because it adds a new dimension to the scholarly debate over the role of identity in Japanese diplomacy."

—Hiro Katsumata, Japanese Journal of Political Science

"The author lucidly articulates a constructivist theoretical framework to deal with questions that rationalist scholarship cannot manage to explain, particularly Japanese behavior during the Asian Financial Crisis. Clear and persuasive, with results from original interviews with principals directly involved, this work is a well-researched, valuable piece of scholarship."

—Rodney Bruce Hall, Oxford University

"Distinguished by a sophisticated theoretical framework, this book offers new insights into Japanese foreign policy and economic diplomacy. It is a significant advance on standard constructivist approaches and a strong contribution to the field."

—Chris Hughes, University of Warwick

"[This book] presents a historically informed account of the nature and evolution of the Japanese challenge to neoliberalism."

Journal of Economic Literature

"This contribution...provides not only an empirically rich case study of Japan's foreign economic policy but also gives a necessary push forward to the constructivist theoretical debate . . . This is an ambitious and largely successful book."

Asian Affairs