The Ukrainian War Viewed from Theories of International Politics
This article, entitled "The Ukrainian War Viewed from Theories of International Politics," attempts to provide an interactive examination of the relationship between international political theories and the Ukraine war. In other words, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the Ukraine war from the perspective of international political theories, as well as what the actual development of the Ukraine war suggests about international political theories. It should be noted that the following discussion is tentative since the Ukraine war is an ongoing event that had been unfolding for three months or so as of this writing.
1. Reconfirmed Validity of the Realist Theory
What the Ukraine war illustrates most eloquently about international political theories is that the realist theory of international politics is valid in many respects.
(1) Worldview of Realism
First, let us take a look at the worldview of realism. Realism is a theory that believes that the most fundamental characteristic of international society is its anarchy, and consequently, international politics must presuppose the struggle for power among nations. Realism has long occupied a mainstream position in the scholarship of international politics.
In domestic society, there is a central government (the state) as a public authority over its members, such as individuals and groups, which prevents or punishes violations of the rules by those members. The central government is also expected to prevent and punish the private use of violence by individuals and groups. Meanwhile, international society has no central government (world government) that stands above the states. This signifies the absence of an entity that can prevent or punish violations of the rules by states, and in particular, no entity to prevent or punish the private use of force by states.
As a result, in international society, a state cannot expect redress by a superior entity when its rights are unjustly violated by other states or when its survival or prosperity is threatened. The United Nations is an amalgamation of sovereign states acting in their national interests; it does not stand over the states and therefore cannot act as a world government. Nor can a state expect other states to help it as a matter of course; a state must ultimately protect its rights, survival, and prosperity through self-help. Since self-help requires power, a state is bound to take a strong interest in its relative power relations with other states, especially those perceived to pose a threat against it.
(2) Limits of Laws and Rules
Based on this worldview, realism underscores the limits of the efficacy of laws and rules in international society because there is no entity in it that can guarantee compliance by the states with laws and rules. In domestic society, one can expect remedies by the government or its institutions such as the police, courts, and armed forces for acts that trample on laws and rules by brute force; similar remedies cannot be available in the international society.
In international society, therefore, there are limits to the effectiveness and enforceability of rules including international law, and a powerful state often ignores the rules and acts by power, without being checked. The only way for a state to defend itself against such an act is through the exertion of power. In particular, it is essential to use military force to respond to the illegal use of violence (use of armed force).
(3) Limitations of Problem Solving through Dialogue
According to the realist worldview, there are limits to attempting to resolve inter-state disputes through dialogue. Dialogue can produce some results only if all the parties concerned are willing to solve problems through it. In domestic society, the parties concerned will be urged to sit at the negotiation table under the pressure of government power in the form of, for example, trials. But international society is under anarchy and lacks such an entity as a government.
(4) Development of the Situation after February 24, 2022 --- Endorsing the "Correctness" of the Realist Theory
Looking at the development of international relations surrounding the Ukraine war since February 24, 2022, we can find the following facts that support the validity of the realist theory as discussed above.
When Ukraine was invaded by Russia, we became once more aware that: there is no superior entity in international society to rescue Ukraine. The United Nations is an amalgamation of sovereign states acting in their own national interests and is not a substitute for world government. Even though Russia's invasion of Ukraine is an apparent violation of the UN Charter, the United Nations has thus far played only a limited role in resolving this issue. On March 2, the UN General Assembly held an emergency special session based on the "Unity for Peace" resolution adopted by the General Assembly on November 3, 1950 and adopted a resolution entitled "Aggression against Ukraine." Declaring that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was a violation of Article 2.4 of the UN Charter, the resolution condemned "the 24 February 2022 declaration by the Russian Federation of a ‘special military operation' in Ukraine" and demanded "that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine"; "that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders." 1 It was the first time in this century that the UN General Assembly held an emergency special session. Furthermore, the resolution's passage by an overwhelming majority of 141 to 5 was indeed a milestone. Meanwhile, it should not be overlooked that 35 countries abstained from the voting. In addition, the resolution has no legally binding force and is barely effective.
The United Nations has, to date, adopted several other resolutions related the Ukraine war, including one to suspend Russia's membership in the Human Rights Council. However, not a small number of countries abstained from or opposed these resolutions due to considerations of their national interests. The Security Council is not able to fulfill its designed function due to Russia's use of veto power.
As a result, Ukraine had no alternative but to fight against Russian aggression through self-help. Western countries have, so far, sent Ukraine no troops, which Ukraine eagerly awaits. 2 Moreover, assistance to Ukraine from the international community, mainly from Western countries such as the United States, European countries, and Japan, is not based on any UN resolution but is rather more a form of self-help in nature in the sense that the donor countries are providing the assistance they deem necessary.
International law has exposed its weak responsiveness in the face of Russia's illegal use of force, which once again highlights the reality of international society that the only way to address the unlawful use of force is to confront it also by using force. As of this writing, 100 days have passed since the Ukraine war began; we have become accustomed to seeing that a small Ukraine is fighting well against a giant Russia. However, the atmosphere at the beginning of the war in which the world then found itself was different. There was widespread speculation that the capital city of Kyiv would surrender in only a few days. The United States and European countries discussed how to support a Ukrainian government in exile. But Ukraine still maintains its independence, to which international law has contributed nothing. This is because Ukrainians are fighting Russian aggression by force and at the risk of their life.
In the meantime, the United States, Europe, and other countries did not send their troops to Ukraine but supported the Ukrainians' armed resistance by providing military equipment and supplies. This also demonstrates the reality of the world that the only way to confront the illegal use of force is by the use of force.
Furthermore, the developments during the past 100 days show once again that it seems illusory to expect to reach a solution through dialogue in cases of aggression like the current war. The many twists and turns in the ceasefire talks suggest Russia's lack of intention to resolve relevant issues through dialogue; neither is there an actor who can urge Russia to solve the problems through dialogue.
Some actors have attempted to do so. French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, through diplomatic and mediation efforts, have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to take proactive steps to resolve the issues through dialogue but this proved to be in vain.
Finally, the Ukraine war has proved that, under anarchy, a state takes a strong interest in relative power relations with those perceived to pose a threat to it. The ongoing Russian invasion has made many European countries aware that Russia is an imminent threat to them; they are now seeking to improve their relative power balance with Russia. It was precisely such awareness that prompted Germany, France, and other countries to declare substantial increases in their defense spending in the wake of the Russian invasion. Sweden and Finland were likewise motivated to break away from their neutral positions and to apply for accession to NATO.
2. Exposed Limitations of the Liberal Theory
The "correctness" of the realist theory, as elaborated above, suggests more clearly than anything else the limitations of the liberal theory as the most influential rival school to the realist theory. 3
(1) Liberal Worldview and the Limitations of the Liberal Theory
Although the ideas of liberal international political theory are diverse, the underlying recognition among them is that international relations do not always evolve, as realism claims, based on interstate competition and confrontation under anarchy.
Liberalism acknowledges that the current international system is in a state of anarchy, that owing to this situation, interstate relations contain potential competition and confrontation, and that military power plays some critical role in international politics. At the same time, however, it also believes that with human ingenuity and effort, it is possible to eliminate or at least mitigate interstate competition and conflict and to transform the world into a more peaceful and safer place. The origins of such a line of thinking can be traced back to the Enlightenment optimism of the 18th century that deemed it possible to improve the world through reason. The ingenuity, of particular importance in this connection, includes the development of international law and rules, the development of international institutions, and the furtherance of economic and other forms of interdependence.
But what the current situation has clarified is the reality that neither international law and rules nor international institutions alone have been able to stop or to address Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Some suggest that economic interdependence also failed to stop Russian aggression. 4
(2) Factors Responsible for the Limitations of the Liberal Theory
The liberal theory of international relations cogently explains why order among states who embrace liberal values and ideas tends to be peaceful and stable. It also provides concrete proposals as to what is needed to make the interstate order more peaceful and stable among such states --- further development of international rules, improvement of international institutions, and advancement of interdependent relations among states.
However, liberalism cannot answer the question of how to achieve a peaceful and stable international order in the presence of major powers unwilling to accept liberal values and ideals. What is needed to answer the question is a power-based "prescription" for peace that realism advocates. To persuade the states unwilling to do so to accept liberal values and ideas, persuasion backed by power and, sometimes, pressure are necessary. However, this point of view tends to be overlooked from the perspective held by those who adhere to the liberal theory of international politics.
The Liberal theory is by no means useless in considering issues of peace and international order. Liberalism admits that the present international system is in a state of anarchy, which makes it hard to eliminate competition and confrontation from interstate relations, and that military power plays a vital role in international politics. If liberals strive to use human ingenuity while fully addressing this reality, liberalism will certainly help to further promote peace. Yet, liberalism tended to fall into the illusion that this reality could be overcome solely through human ingenuity, instead of fully looking into the reality that power, including military force, is essential to achieve peace under anarchy.
In other words, the primary weakness of the liberal theory of international politics is that it seeks measures not based on power so much that it often downplays the indispensability of power-based measures to achieve peace under anarchy. The recent war in Ukraine highlights this shortcoming of liberalism.
3. The Significance of Liberal International Order Based on Rules
The above discussion does not deny the necessity of efforts to improve through human ingenuity the situation in which international peace and order are brought about solely by power. Then, what measures should be taken to pursue the achievement of peace under anarchy, but with less dependence on power, while without losing sight of the limits of human ingenuity? The quest for answers to this question should be the most crucial objective of the study of international politics.
In the post-World War II world, international society has been attempting to find an answer to the above question in a "liberal rules-based international order." As we have already seen, rules are unconditionally followed in domestic society but are not so in international society under anarchy. Powerful states could, if they so choose, do what they want to do to a considerable extent by using power in defiance of rules.
Over the past several decades, this situation has improved to a significant degree under the order maintained under the leadership of the United States --- the liberal rules-based international order. The United States, the most powerful state in the world, based on liberal values and ideals, thought that every state, large or small, should make it a principle to respect international rules and to refrain from exercising brute force. The liberal democracies, including Japan, agreed with this idea, which had a prodigious impact on the international order. As a result, today, we have usually been able to live barely conscious of the fact that international society is an arena of struggle where power clashes with power, and military power ultimately prevails.
An important fact is that even a liberal rules-based international order cannot be stable unless it is supported by power, including military power. Thanks to the stability of this order, we have been accustomed to living for many years without noting that international society is an arena for power struggle among states. This order has been stable for a long time because the United States has led its formation, and many influential states, such as Japan and European nations, have cooperated with it. At the root of the recent disruptions in this order lie the relative decline in the influence of these states due to changes in international power balance. In order to maintain an order that normally does not require our thinking much about the issue of power, there must exist substantial power to sustain it.
The shock of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, combined with China's earlier move to change the status quo by force in the Indo-Pacific, slighting international rules, has plunged the rule-based liberal international order into an unprecedented crisis. The countries forming and maintaining this order, such as the United States, Japan, and Europe, are aware that it is in their vital national interests to protect this order. They hold no illusion that they can maintain this order without resorting to power. While they seek a rules-based order restraining any states from acting by brute force, they share a clear understanding that if some states do not agree to the rules-based order, they must undertake it upon themselves to confront those states by power, including military force, and demand that they comply with that order and rules.
In this sense, the idea of a liberal international order based on rules bridges --- without falling into fanciful idealism --- the gap between anarchy or the reality of international politics, unsurmountable by human ingenuity, and the desire to achieve peace with less dependence on power even under anarchy.
4. Narrowness of the Realist Theory
The discussion in this paper began by stating that the Ukraine war after February 24, 2022, has demonstrated the validity of the realist theory of international politics in many ways. However, the current situation in Ukraine also highlights problems with realist theory. Due to the theory's narrow perspective, realist analyses of the current situation and recommendations derived from them are not exempt from fault.
(1) Narrow Concept of National Interests
Realism focuses on how a state competes with other states over power, mainly military power, and ensures its survival under anarchy; it argues that the national security interests of each state are solely defined from this perspective. For this reason, realism fails to recognize that the promotion of measures to mitigate the struggle for power under anarchy can also constitute a vital national security interest. This is evident from the fact that leading realist commentators such as John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt fail to consider the implications for the national interests of countries such as the United States, European countries, and Japan of shaking of the liberal rules-based international order by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 5
(2) An Inappropriate Analogy between the Ukraine War and the Iraq War?
Mearsheimer and Walt discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine as an analogy with the Iraq War; they argue that it is inconsistent to condemn Russia's actions in the Ukraine war without accusing the United States' actions in the Iraq War. However, their criticism seems to stem from their failure to recognize that the formation and the maintenance of a liberal rules-based international order may be considered a significant national interest for some countries.
There were indeed many problems with US actions in the Iraq War. But the underlying US motivation was to promote a liberal, rules-based international order. The United States believed that its actions met the interest of international society as a whole, while advancing at the same time its national interest. Quite a few countries, including Japan and the United Kingdom, accepted this view in principle.
Therefore, the United States did not attempt to conceal its intention to start a war against Iraq and rallied in advance international support and cooperation for its actions. It also sought to have its actions approved by the UN Security Council. Moreover, the US post-war objective was not the long-term domination of Iraq. The United States envisaged the creation of a democratic Iraq. It planned to help Iraq be reborn into a new nation by endowing the country with the right to self-determination --- though US actions were in many ways based on some fanciful optimism and one-sided prejudice.
What about Russia in the Ukraine war? Russia's goal in the war is to expand its sphere of influence; it lacks the initiative to advance the interest of international society through its war efforts. Supposedly, this is why Russia's intention to start a war with Ukraine was kept secret. Russia made no effort to obtain UN Security Council approval for the initiation of the war. Russia seems to have envisioned a postwar Ukraine as deprived of its right to self-determination over its basic foreign and security policy or as a country that will stay under the domination of Russia.
When comparing the two wars in the light of what the countries that launched the wars aimed at and what they considered to be their national interest, it is not appropriate to discuss Russia in the Ukraine war in the same manner as the United States in the Iraq war. Realist theorists, such as Mearsheimer and Walt, lack this perspective.
(3) Major Power-Centric Theory
Realist analyses and recommendations on the Ukraine war are not free from the drawback that they are excessively major power-centric. Realism is characterized by its emphasis on power, particularly military power, therefore emphasizing major-power centricity. Nonetheless, it is undeniably problematic that Mearsheimer and Walt's argument about the current war in Ukraine does not consider the will and wishes of the smaller countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Their discussion appears to ignore even the intentions and hopes of Ukraine, a protagonist in the current war.
Mearsheimer and Walt assert that the expansion of NATO's expansion eastward led by the United States, ignoring Russian opposition, was the cause of the current war. But there is no mention in their argument about the fact that NATO expansion complied with the wishes of most countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The reason why NATO, a legacy of the Cold War, expanded rather than disappeared after the Cold War --- contrary to the predictions of some realists like Mearsheimer --- is that many countries were attracted to the fact that the NATO zone turned into a vast non-war zone for the first time in European history, and these countries therefore sought accession to NATO. It is not because the United States forced Central and Eastern European countries to join it.
Mearsheimer and Walt's argument ignores the aspirations of these small and medium countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Consequently, their argument is as if to say that these small- and medium-sized countries should follow the will of the United States, Russia, and at most other major powers such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and France and that those small and medium-sized countries have no right to self-determination on the questions of diplomacy and security.
(4) A Billiard-Ball View of International Politics
Finally, one problem concerning the realist analysis of the Ukraine war is its conspicuous tendency to regard Russia as the single rational decision-maker. Since it is apparent that various miscalculations and misperceptions committed by "Russia" or by "Putin" matter a great deal in this war, we must analyze the psychology of decision-makers in order to accurately understand various aspects of the war. However, because of its billiard ball-type view of international politics, the realist theory seems to be unable to pay sufficient attention to the question of such miscalculations and misconceptions.
Although we cannot have a detailed discussion due to limitations of space, it seems highly likely that the phenomenon of "groupthink" advocated by Irving L. Janis is taking place in the Russian leadership undertaking the current war. This is theory that when a small number of people similar in ideas and perspectives make decisions under a strong leader, objections are rarely communicated, inconvenient information disregarded, and alternative options given perfunctory consideration --- all these combined result in a deteriorated quality of their decision making. 6 Janis alerts us to the fact that once a decision has been made it becomes harder to change, and over-optimism about the future is more likely to ensue. He attributes many of the fiascoes committed by past US administrations to the "groupthink" --- the decision to "Go North" in the Korean War, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the escalation of the Vietnam War.
This theory of Janis' appears to well apply to the decision-making by Putin and the Russian leadership over the current war. Yet, such work of analysis is outside the scope of realism.
In Lieu of Conclusion
The Ukraine war has revealed the validity and, at the same time, the narrowness of the realist theory of international politics. It also betrayed the limitations of the liberal view of international politics while highlighting the importance of a liberal rules-based international order as a means to pursue the achievement of peace even under anarchy --- with less reliance on power and without losing sight of the limits of human ingenuity.
To fully understand the Ukraine war and to obtain appropriate policy implications, we should first admit that the realist theory of international politics has many "correct" insights and then compensate for its shortcomings and weaknesses with other relevant theories. This is a tentative conclusion of the above analysis of this essay.
(Professor, the National Defense Academy)
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- January,2021, "How will China View the Biden Administration?" written by Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "An Assessment of the 2020 US Presidential Election－American Democracy Now－" lectured by Fumiaki Kubo, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "Two Trumpian Mysteries－Why did Trump win over 70 million votes? Why is his outrageous behavior unchecked?－" lectured by Kazuhiro Maeshima, Professor, Sophia University
- September, 2020, "The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and Internationa Relationsl" by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
- September, 2020, "The Policy Agenda for the Xi Jinping Administration- COVID-19 Countermeasures and China's International Relations -" by Shin Kawashima, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- "Control in the United States and International Relations" by Koji Murata, Professor, Doshisha University
- September, 2020, "The EU's Response to COVID-19 and International Relations" by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- August, 2020, "The Corona Crisis Seen from a Macroeconomic Perspective" written by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
- August, 2020, "The Coronavirus Pandemic and Japan's Infectious Disease Control" written by Takashi Mihara, Senior Research Fellow, NLI Research Institute
- August, 2020, "Infectious Disease Crisis Control in Japan- Recommendations on an Exit Strategy -" written by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor, Hosei University
- August, 2020, "Security against Infectious Disease Threats --- Policy Responses Abroad" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- June 2020,"Transformation of the International Order in the Middle East--- Varying Degrees of "Stateness" and Three Directions of the New Order" written by Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
- June 2020,"Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security" written by Amane Kobayashi, Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics
- May 2020: Urgent Recommendations "Toward a V-shaped Recovery after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic "Coronavirus Testing for All" --- the First Step of the Next Phase"
- May 2020: "US Diplomacy toward Iran: Economic Sanctions as a Diplomatic Tool" Hiroki Sugita Columnist, Kyodo News
- "Russian Factors in the Middle East" Taisuke Abiru Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- "The SDF Dispatches to the Middle East --- History and Significance" Ippeita Nishida Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Space and Security" Kazuto Suzuki Professor, Hokkaido University
- March 2020, "The US Security Space Policy --- With a Focus on the Establishment of Two Space Forces" Yasuhito Fukushima Chief Researcher, The National Institute for Defense Studies
- March 2020, "China's Recent Activities in Space and Cyberspace" Bonji Ohara Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Environmental Security and Japan" Takashi Sekiyama Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- March 2020, "Changes in Global Environment and Security --- US Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
- February 2020, "Cyberspace Security" Motohiro Tsuchiya Professor, Keio University
- February 2020, "Japan's Space and Cyberspace Policy" Yukinari Hirose Former President of the National Institute for Defense Studies
- December 2019, "The US-China Confrontation --- Where Will Hegemony Reside Next?" Akio Takahara Professor, the University of Tokyo
- December 2019, "Challenges Facing the Chinese Economy" Osamu Tanaka Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
- December 2019, "US Strategic Perception on China: Implications for US Allied Partners" Tsuneo Watanabe Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- November 2019, "The Xi Jinping Administration's View of the International Order– China's emphasis on United Nations diplomacy and liberal economic policies−" Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- November 2019, "The Future of China's Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- November 2019, "China --- Its Confidence and Anxiety" Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- August 2019: Several Perspectives on the Korean Peninsula Issue--- The Deteriorating Japan-South Korea Relationship and the Uncertain Denuclearization of North Korea --- By Masahiro Akiyama Chairman, the SSDP
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea--- What is the Stance of North Korea?---", Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea --- How will the US move?", Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2019, "Discussion on Denuclearization of North Korea", SSDP Discussion Meeting on May 8, 2019
- May 2019: "Current Status and Prospects of South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History: How to address the Judicial Problems", Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- May 2019: "South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History" (Comments), Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- May 2019: Japan and South Korea Relationships (Question & Answer)
- March 2019: "The Present State and Prospects of the Indian Economy and Economic Policies" written by Koji Kobayashi, Senior Economist Mizuho Research Institute Ltd.
- March 2019: "The "Modi diplomacy" in the History of Indian diplomacy--- Departure from or maintenance of the traditional diplomacy? ---" written by Toru Ito, The National Defense Academy of Japan
- February 2019: Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections, written by Chiharu Takenaka, Professor of Rikkyo University
- February 2019: "Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy"--- The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) ---, written by Matake Kamiya, Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
- January 2019:, A paper, "How will the US midterm elections results affect the Trump administration's foreign policy for 2019?" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2019:, A paper, "The Present and Future of the International Trade Order" , written by Akihiko Tamura, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- December 2018: The US-China Competition and Japan, written by Ryo Sahashi, Professor at Kanagawa University
- December 2018: An Outlook for the US-China Trade War―What makes the two economically interdependent superpowers confront each other?―, written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate professor at Toyo University
- September 2018: Proposal, "The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Restoration of Peace in the Korean Peninsula― Correct Perceptions and Eight Proposals on Japan's North Korea Diplomacy－" edited by the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- September 2018: "The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the New Era" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor of the Tokyo University
- July 2018: "The EU States and Russia on North Korea Issues- Expansion of Influence through Diplomacy: Attempts and Limitations -" lectured by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of Keio University
- "An Assessment of the US-North Korea Summit and an Outlook for the Future of the Korean Peninsula" lectured by Junya Nishino, Professor of Keio University
- "Korean Peninsula Issue and Japan's Future Security Policy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2018: "US North Korea policy affected by personnel changes in the Trump administration" lectured by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- "China-North Korea relationship under Xi Jinping" lectured by Shin Kawashima, Professor of the Tokyo University.
- "North Korean Denuclearization and Russia" lectured by Nobuo Shimotomai, Professor of the Hosei University.
- March 2018: "The Network Hegemony Theory for a Security Architecture in The Asia Pacific Region" lectured by Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- January 2018: "A Destabilized Middle East" lectured by Koichiro Tanaka, Professor, Keio University
- December 2017: "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042" lectured by Ezra F. Vogel, Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University
- November 2017: "The Future of the Asia-Pacific Region" written by Yoriko Kawaguchi, Fellow, the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Former Minister Foreign Affairs
- October 2017: "A New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan" Written by HIROSE,Takako, Professor, Senshu University
- August 2017: "The Shocks that shook the Transatlantic World and their Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy" written by HOSOYA, Yuichi, Professor, Keio University
- August 2017: "Does Economic Interdependence not Encourage Collaboration? ―Thinking Japan-China Relations from an Economic Perspective―" written by Takashi SEKIYAMA, Ph.D., Toyo University
- July 2017: Proposal article "The Trump Administration's Impact on the Cross-Strait Relations" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Ph.D.
- June 2017: Proposal article "The outlook for the relationship between two great powers and implications for Japanese diplomacy" written by Professor Shin Kawashima
- May 2017: (Emergency Proposal) Facing the Inconvenient Truth: Re-examining Policy for Peace and Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (Chief author, Masao Okonogi)
- March 2017: "Economic Influences of the Trump Administration" written by Professor Motoshige Ito
- February, 2017: Proposal article "Trump's Foreign and Security Policy - Unpredictable President, Realistic Secretaries - " written by Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe is posted on the website of SSDP.
- December, 2016: Proposal article "Reconsidering North Korea Policy: How to Deal with a Nuclear Armed Divided States" written by Professor Masao Okonogi is posted on the website of SSDP.
- Taiwan-Japan Round Table on August 24th, at Capital Tokyu Hotel
- Japan-Korea Political Leaders Dialogue was held on February 10th,2023 at International House of Japan
- March 2022, A remembrance seminar "Remembering Professor Ezra Vogel" held on January 17, 2022
- March 2021, Japan-ROK Parliamentary Dialogue -Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Era of US-China Competition- held on March 11, 2021
- December 2020: The report of the Japan-ROK Future Dialogue held on November 21 to discuss "Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Post-Covid-19 Era
- October 2020: "Responses to COVID-19 and Agendas for the Post-COVID-19 Era", A Brief Overview of the Japan-Korea Experts Dialogue held on July 29,30, 2020
- October 2020: "The China-Taiwan Confrontation over Corona Response and Taiwan's Security" written by Makoto Ogata, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- May 2020: "Rivalries in the Middle East in New Security Dynamics", Written by Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired) of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defence Affairs
- March 2020: The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac--- Where is an Exit ? Masao Okonogi Professor Emeritus, Keio Universit
- December 2019: The Hong Kong Upheaval and the Future of Cross-Straits Relations－The 2019 Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue Report OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- August 2019: Report; 2019 FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE --Sustainable Prosperity and Future of Korea-U.S.-Japan Cooperation-- By Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae)
- June 2019: Report on India – Japan Security Dialogue 2019 by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D Student, The University of Tokyo
June 2019: Four papers on Japan-India Cooperation submitted to India-Japan Security Dialogue 2019
Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute
- Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
- November 2018: "The Present State of the Japanese Economy and Policy Issues" lectured by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.
- November 2018: "Expanding Social Security Expenses and Fiscal Reforms" lectured by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor at Hosei University.
- September 2018: "Taiwan Identity and Cross-Strait Relations and Trump's Taiwan Policy and the Future of Taiwan-US Relations-Discussion at The Second Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue (June 21, 2018, Taipei)-" written by OGATA, Makoto
- September 2018: "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue 2018 Minutes", 21st June 2018, Taipei, Taiwan.
- July 2018: Report on The Second Japan – Philippines Strategic Dialogue prepared by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Public Policy, Tokyo University.
- May 2018: "Civilian Control "at Crisis"? – Perhaps Not, for the Case of the Field Sit-reps from SDF's South Sudan Mission" reported by Ippeita Nishida, Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2018: "Fukushima, Genki？Project－Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films－" reported by OGATA, Makoto, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- December 2017: "Commemorating a Quarter Century of Dispatches of the JSDF's PKO Units: Challenges and Possibilities in the Post South Sudan" written by Takayuki Shoji, Lecturer, Nihon University
- November 2017: "19th CCP National Congress" written by Mr. Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Fondation
- October 2017: "What is Japan's Role in the Indo-China border conflict?" written by Dr. NGAO,Satoru, Research Fellow, Institute for Future Engineering
- July 2017: "Overview of the Current Situation in Taiwan-" the Naturally Independent Generation" will affect the Taiwan"s politics-" written by Makoto Ogata MGE.(Ret.)
- June 2017: "Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue" written by Mr.Takaaki Asano
- March 2017: "The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue" written by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi
- February, 2017: Current topic "The Importance of Japan's Security Role Under Trump" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao is posted on the SSDP website.
- December, 2016: Current topic "Widening Security Task: Will SDF do the Job?" written by Mr. Ippeita Nishida is posted on the SSDP website.
- September 2023, Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no3" (Hegemonic America: Where It's Headed) in English edition was published.
- June 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no2" (Nuclear Crisis Scenarios Facing Japan and the Outlook of Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control and Disarmament) in English edition was published.
- March 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no1" (What Will Happen to European Security?―Facing the War in Ukraine) in English edition was published.
- January 2023, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 4)" - Defending Our Country – Defense Policy in a "New Cold War Era - was published.
- October 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 3)" - Xi Jinping's China - Politics, Economy, Society and Diplomacy - was published.
- Jun 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 2)" -The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Global Impact- was published.
- March 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 1)"-What is Economic Security?- was published.
- December 2021, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 3 no 4)"-Korean Peninsula Situation- was published.
- September 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no03" -Asia's Security II- (English edition)
- June 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no02" -Asia's Security I- (English edition)
- March 2021: Research journal "Security Studies (vol3 no1) "- US Foreign Policy in the Biden Administration / The 2020 US Presidential Election and American Democracy -(English edition)
- December 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no4) "- Normalize Japan-South Korea Relations trough Dialogues -(English edition)
- September 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no3) "-The Novel Coronavirus and Security-(English edition)
- July 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no2) - Middle East Situation and Japan's Security - " (English edition) was published
- May 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no1) - Cyber, Space, Environment and Security - " March 2020 (English edition)
- February 2020, "A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no4) " (English edition)"
- September 2019: A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no3) " (English edition)
- August 2019: Korea-Japan Joint Seminar: FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE
- April 2019: "Security Studies (vol1 no2) April 2019"
- March 2019: A research journal "Security Studies vol1 no01" just published
- February 2019: The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Takeshima Issue
- December 2018: Former Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's Memoirs (An Ad)
- November 2018: Participation in the Future Consensus Forum held in Beijing
- September 2018: "2018 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue" reported by Masahiro Akiyama
- 2017 December: "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
- October 2017: Campaign on the problems with North Korea
- August 2017: A New Containment Policy Strategy
- June 2017: Korean peninsla
- March 2017: President Duterte
- February, 2017: Kazakhstan
- November, 2016: Participated in Astana Club 2016 held in Kazakhstan on November 14- 16, 2016.