ICJS Event: "Amassing Power That is Not too Hard and Not too Soft, but Just Right" by Richard J. Samuels

Friday, November 18, 2005
7:30 p.m.
Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 206 (access)
Institute lectures are open to the general public, but space may be limited: RSVP is recommended.
Registration closed

While their competition for regional leadership is apparent for all to see, Tokyo and Beijing are each also engaged in trying to find just the right balance between the deployment of "hard" and "soft" power resources, i.e., the capability to bully and deter versus the ability to inspire and attract.

Japan has generated a range of soft power resources, including its pop culture, while redefining its security policy to meet military threats. China works on its diplomatic "charm offensive," aware that its rise and military buildup could cause instability in the region and beyond. Both seem intent on crafting soft power from economic opportunity, but the question is whether each is able to balance its soft power attractions against its considerable-- and growing-- hard power resources-- and whether they can do so without making the neighborhood an even more dangerous place than it already is.

About Richard J. Samuels

Richard J. Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies. He is also the Founding Director of the MIT Japan Program. In 2001 he became Chairman of the Japan-US Friendship Commission, an independent Federal grant-making agency that supports Japanese studies and policy-oriented research in the United States. In 2005 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Samuels served as Head of the MIT Department of Political Science between 1992-1997 and as Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Japan of the National Research Council until 1996. Grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Abe Fellowship Fund, the National Science Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation, have supported eight years of field research in Japan.

Dr. Samuels' latest book, Machiavelli's Children: Leaders and Their Legacies in Italy and Japan (Cornell University Press, 2003), a comparative political and economic history of political leadership in Italy and Japan, won the 2003 Marraro prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies and the 2004 Jervis -Schroeder Prize for the best book in International History and Politics, awarded by the International History and Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

His 1994 study, "Rich Nation, Strong Army": National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan (Cornell University Press), won the 1996 John Whitney Hall Prize of the Association of Asian Studies and the 1996 Arisawa Memorial Prize of the Association of American University Presses. His book, The Business of the Japanese State: Energy Markets in Comparative and Historical Perspective (Cornell University Press) received the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in 1988. In 1983, Princeton University Press published his Politics of Regional Policy in Japan. His articles have appeared in International Organization, Foreign Affairs, International Security, The Journal of Modern Italian Studies, The Journal of Japanese Studies, Daedalus, and other scholarly journals. In 2001 he became a columnist for Newsweek Japan.

About ICJS

The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.