Japan Among the Great Powers

  • Douglas Howland


A much more inclusive global order existed in the nineteenth century, based in the natural law of nations and international administrative law. The great powers, however, curtailed that by developing formal reservations to treaty provisions and eliminating democratic procedures at international conventions. As one of the great powers, Japan began to engage in colonialism—taking Taiwan in 1895 and absorbing Korea in the 1900s. Japan also proved itself strong and confident enough to reject international institutions—for example, the International Court of Arbitration’s decision in the Japan House Tax Case. Because of the dominance of the great powers, international law remains a form of “non-guaranteed legal relations,” in that the authority of law is yoked to the violence of coercion.


Nineteenth Century Security Council Great Power State Sovereignty Global Order 
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© Douglas Howland 2016

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  • Douglas Howland

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