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Traversing the Soft/Hard Power Binary: The Case of the Sino-Japanese Territorial Dispute
Hagström, Linus1; Pan, Chengxin2
2020-01
Source PublicationReview of International Studies
Volume46Issue:1Pages:37-55
Abstract

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.

KeywordDiaoyu/senkaku Islands Disciplinary Power Productive Power Sino-japanese Relations Soft Power
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1017/S0260210519000251
URLView the original
Indexed BySSCI
Language英語English
WOS IDWOS:A-1363-2008
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Document TypeJournal article
CollectionDEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Affiliation1.Swedish Defense University
2.Deakin University
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Hagström, Linus,Pan, Chengxin. Traversing the Soft/Hard Power Binary: The Case of the Sino-Japanese Territorial Dispute[J]. Review of International Studies,2020,46(1):37-55.
APA Hagström, Linus,&Pan, Chengxin.(2020).Traversing the Soft/Hard Power Binary: The Case of the Sino-Japanese Territorial Dispute.Review of International Studies,46(1),37-55.
MLA Hagström, Linus,et al."Traversing the Soft/Hard Power Binary: The Case of the Sino-Japanese Territorial Dispute".Review of International Studies 46.1(2020):37-55.
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