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Grant number like: FO-50243-15

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Jacques Hymans
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 5/31/2016

The International Politics of Sovereign Recognition: The West and Meiji-Era Japan

In recent years, the international relations field has become increasingly interested in explaining the phenomenon of sovereign state recognition. Studying sovereign recognition goes to the heart of the broader debate about how we should understand the world of states overall: as a thin "system," or as a thick "society." This book project explores the international politics of sovereign recognition through a rigorous comparative case study of Western states' decisions to recognize the sovereignty of Japan at the end of the 19th century, a key turning point in international history. The project will make a substantial contribution both to international relations theory and to the historiography of the long 19th century. Specifically, during the fellowship year I will conduct historical archival research on the evolution of attitudes toward recognizing Japan in the four leading Western states of that time period: Great Britain, France, Germany, and the US.