Understanding the background of the political and social movements supporting the United Nations

Yasui, Hiroshi (2010). Understanding the background of the political and social movements supporting the United Nations. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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Although academic literature predominantly discusses UN centrism as Japan’s foreign policy, this thesis stipulates it as a popular norm supported by the Japanese public. The thesis employs the constructivist approach in understanding UN centrism as a domestic norm. Following the analytical methods employed in existing studies on norm diffusion, it identifies UN centrism is Japan’s interpretation of the international UN norms seen through the lens of its post-war domestic pacifist norm. Building on existing literature on civil society and Japanese studies, it analyses how civil movements supporting UNESCO and UNICEF have worked their way through Japanese society, traditional social behaviours and customs to diffuse the norm. The success of the civil movements has not been in spite of Japan’s weak civil society but because its characteristics have worked in their favour. The UN centrism norm at its core urges individuals to construct peace and international cooperation through the UN. The norm continues to develop, and today it has become a norm which not only urges ordinary Japanese to think about creating and maintaining peace through the UN, but also to make personal financial contributions to support UN humanitarian activities and even dictates where they should visit for their next holiday.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/1060


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