Union University

Union University Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science


Cooney Presents Two Papers at ISA

Feb 18, 2009

This past week, Dr. Kevin Cooney, associate professor of political science, presented two papers at the International Studies Association Conference. This conferece, held in New York City this year, is the largest gathering of academics that study international relations.

The first paper Dr. Cooney's gave was "Public Opinion and the Normalization of Foreign Policy in JapanSince the End of the Cold War." This paper examines the role of public opinion since the end of the Cold War and its influence on the normalziatio and maturation of Japanese foreign and security policy. Japanese foreign policy makers usually tend to make policy with little regard to public opinion even though Japanese leaders, like any in a democracy, must respond to the public. This paper examines several post COld War examples where public opinion dictated or got ahead of foreign policy makers and explains what this means to the normalization and maturation process of Japanese foreign policy.

The second paper was co-authored "Is China a Black Swan?: Implications for American and East Asian Security" with Zhang Yu who is an adjunct professor of Chinese at Union University. A black swan is a metaphor for something that could not exist, a rare event beyond the realm of normal expectations. In the case of China, the black swan would be an authoritarian China with a successful free market economy that could compete with the US globally. The US current policy toward China is based and dependent on the democratic peace idea that no nation could have a free market system and remain authoritarian. The belief is that China will either democratize as it expands economically or will economically fall under the weight of authoritarian rule. This paper examines the case for China actually being the unexpected reality of a black swan that could success both at capitalism and authoritarian rule. Futhermore, the paper examines the implications of such as unexpected and unplanned event for the US and East Asian security and institutions.