Share this

Japanese Foreign Intelligence and Grand Strategy: From the Cold War to the Abe Era, Brad Williams

Reviewed by Richard J. Samuels



Every country has its taboos—products of an unpleasant history that are largely avoided in public discourse and thereby may distort and constrain policymaking. But taboos also affect how scholars select research topics. Nowhere has this been more pronounced than in the study of Japan's intelligence community after the Asia-Pacific War. Volume after scholarly volume about Japanese national security and foreign policy have failed to engage with this topic in the depth it deserves. In Japanese Foreign Intelligence and Grand Strategy, Brad Williams is determined to make up for lost time. He insists—and his title suggests—that no understanding of Japanese grand strategy can be complete without an understanding of its foreign intelligence apparatus.

Williams brings a political scientist's toolkit and an historian's sensibility to this task. His toolkit comprises four “embedded norms”: (1) bilateralism—often a euphemism for Japan's subordination to the United States; (2) developmentalism—Chalmers Johnson's influential concept of state-led growth; (3) technonationalism—the connection of technology to national security; and (4) antimilitarism—perhaps the dominant Japanese national sentiment for decades after the war's end. Together, he argues, these ideational variables shaped postwar

To continue reading, see options above.

More by This Author

Black Wave: How Networks and Governance Shaped Japan’s 3/11 Disasters, Daniel P. Aldrich Reviewed by Richard J. Samuels

Japan’s Nuclear Hedge: Beyond “Allergy” and Breakout, Richard J. Samuels and JAMES L. SCHOFF

About PSQ's Editor


Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.


Book Talk | Phantoms of a Beleaguered Republic: The Deep State and the Unitary Executive
May 24, 2022


Editor’s spotlight

Women's History Month

Woodrow Wilson, Alice Paul, and the Woman Suffrage Movement
Sally Hunter Graham

The Year of the Woman? Candidates, Voters, and the 1992 Elections
Ester R. Fuchs and Michael X. Delli Carpini


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Perspectives on Presidential Elections, 1992–2020   PERSPECTIVES ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1992–2020

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS