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Traversing the soft/hard power binary: the case of the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute

Hagström, Linus and Pan, Chengxin 2020, Traversing the soft/hard power binary: the case of the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute, Review of International Studies, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1017/S0260210519000251.

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Title Traversing the soft/hard power binary: the case of the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute
Author(s) Hagström, Linus
Pan, ChengxinORCID iD for Pan, Chengxin orcid.org/0000-0002-9771-7563
Journal name Review of International Studies
Volume number 46
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2020-01
ISSN 0260-2105
1469-9044
Keyword(s) Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands
Disciplinary Power
Productive Power
Sino-Japanese Relations
Soft Power
Summary Soft power and hard power are conceptualised in International Relations as empirically and normatively dichotomous, and practically opposite – one intangible, attractive, and legitimate, the other tangible, coercive, and less legitimate. This article critiques this binary conceptualisation, arguing that it is discursively constructed with and for the construction of Self and Other. It further demonstrates that practices commonly labelled and understood as soft power and hard power are closely interconnected. Best understood as ‘representational force’ and ‘physical force’ respectively, soft and hard power intertwine through the operation of productive and disciplinary forms of power. We illustrate this argument by analysing the Sino-Japanese dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. Both governments exercise representational force in constructing their respective versions of events and Self/Other. The soft/hard power binary itself plays a performative role as the Self is typically associated with soft power and the Other with hard power. The operation of productive power, moreover, privileges the attractiveness of the former and the repellence of the latter, and disciplinary power physically enforces these distinctions on subjects in both states. Finally, reinforced Self/Other distinctions legitimise preparations for violence against the Other on both sides, thus exposing how fundamentally entangled soft and hard power are in practice.

 
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S0260210519000251
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 160607 International Relations
1605 Policy and Administration
1606 Political Science
Socio Economic Objective 940301 Defence and Security Policy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30129377

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.