The Shadows of normative power in Asia: Framing the international agency of China, India, and Japan

Emilian Kavalski

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


While the analysis of normative power has dominated the debates in European international relations studies for the past 20 years, this topic has hardly been broached in the analysis of Asian international affairs. This investigation aims to redress this trend by taking stock of the current state of the art. This exploration therefore contends that normative powers are those actors that are recognized as such by others. This qualifies Ian Manners' oft-quoted proposition that normative powers are only those actors that have the ability to "shape what can be 'normal' in international life." The proposition is that the definitions of the "normal" are not merely undertaken by normative power, but that they emerge in the context of its interaction with others. Recognition, in this setting, is indicated by the specific reactions of target states. In this respect, the issue is not merely about being and becoming a normative power, but also about being recognized as one by others. The study will detail this proposition by undertaking an analytical parallel assessment of normative power Europe, normative power China, normative power India, and normative power Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-328
Number of pages26
JournalPacific Focus
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Normative power
  • Normative power China
  • Normative power Europe
  • Normative power India
  • Normative power Japan
  • Soft power
  • Struggle for recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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