international relations Japan-related research

JPOSS # 24: “Official Knowledge of Foreign Relations Law in U.S.-Japan Relations”

The twenty-fourth session of the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS) took place on January 13, 2022. Charles Crabtree (Dartmouth College) chaired the seminar and moderated the Q & A session.

Ryan Scoville (Marquette University Law School) presented his research on knowledge of U. S. foreign relations law as it is understood by Japanese government officials. His work addresses a gap in existing legal scholarship on the laws governing how the U. S. engages in foreign relations (treaty-making, managing security, etc.) by investigating the extent to which foreign governments understand this aspect of American law. Using a case study of Japan, Scoville makes three points. First, meta-knowledge is valuable as the U. S. government needs to gauge how well foreign governments understand American foreign relations law to improve it in terms of optimizing design and use. Second, meta-knowledge of U. S. foreign relations law is generally lacking. Three, scholars should cultivate an understanding of U. S. foreign relations law.

Discussant comments were given by Kevin Cope (University of Virginia School of Law) and Andrew Oros (Washington College). During the Q and A session, participants raised important questions about the degree to which researchers can accurately gauge how well foreign governments understand U. S. foreign relations law and the implications of such knowledge for international relations.

This event attracted several participants and produced an engaging Q&A session. The organizers would like to thank the presenters, discussants, and participants, as well as the staff at the Harvard Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, who provided administrative support. We look forward to seeing you at the next session of JPOSS: