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International Law and Japanese Sovereignty

The Emerging Global Order in the 19th Century

Authors: Howland, Douglas

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About this book

How does a nation become a great power? A global order was emerging in the nineteenth century, one in which all nations were included. This book explores the multiple legal grounds of Meiji Japan's assertion of sovereign statehood within that order: natural law, treaty law, international administrative law, and the laws of war. Contrary to arguments that Japan was victimized by 'unequal' treaties, or that Japan was required to meet a 'standard of civilization' before it could participate in international society, Howland argues that the Westernizing Japanese state was a player from the start. In the midst of contradictions between law and imperialism, Japan expressed state will and legal acumen as an equal of the Western powers – international incidents in Japanese waters, disputes with foreign powers on Japanese territory, and the prosecution of interstate war. As a member of international administrative unions, Japan worked with fellow members to manage technical systems such as the telegraph and the post. As a member of organizations such as the International Law Association and as a leader at the Hague Peace Conferences, Japan helped to expand international law. By 1907, Japan was the first non-western state to join the ranks of the great powers.

About the authors

Douglas Howland is the Buck Professor of Chinese History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA. He is the author of four books and co-editor (with Luise White) of The State of Sovereignty: Territories, Laws, Populations (2009).

Reviews

“This book undoubtedly makes a landmark contribution to the field of modern Japanese history. … Howland has succeeded in capturing the dynamics of the interactions between shifts in the world order and Japan’s diplomatic strategy, vividly depicting their impact on today’s international relations in East Asia and on international society. This book can inform and inspire not only Japanologists, but also scholars in international law, international politics, Asian studies, and history.” (Tomoko Okagaki, Social Science Japan Journal, Vol. 20 (2), August, 2017)


“This fascinating book challenges us to reexamine the 'standard of civilization' thesis that lies at the heart of the rise of the modern international order. Could China and other non-Western nations have avoided humiliation and defeat at the hands of Western Powers had they followed Japan's steps in using rather than rejecting available instruments of international law to establish their sovereignty?”- Amitav Acharya, UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance and Professor, School of International Service, American University, USA
“Howland’s book is impressive in the width and breath of his treatment of state practice and of the sources he uses. His comprehensive treatment leads to an especially rich narrative about the confrontation between the West and the periphery and its role in the formation of modern international law.”- Randall Lesaffer, Professor, Law School and Department for Public Law, Jurisprudence and Legal History, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
“Howland knows well current understandings of global political history, but by focusing on how leaders and diplomats, broadly defined, used law, he provides solid empirical work to show how our current understanding of the rise and formation of the international, especially in East Asia, desperately needs revision.”- Stefan Tanaka, Professor of Communication and Director, Center for the Humanities Education, University of California, San Diego, USA

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56777-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-57108-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
International Law and Japanese Sovereignty
Book Subtitle
The Emerging Global Order in the 19th Century
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-56777-2
DOI
10.1007/978-1-137-56777-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-57108-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 232
Topics