Changing the Japanese Constitution - A Struggle for Hegemony

Chelina Cecilie Hansen & Christian Søderberg

Studenteropgave: Bachelorprojekt


The ‘no war’ clause of the Japanese constitution, has been the subject of much debate throughout the
past decade. Ever since Japan’s current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came into office, he has sought
to amend the constitution. However, despite his political power and several attempts of an
amendment, all attempts have been unsuccessful so far. This project seeks to uncover how an
influential political figure such as Shinzo Abe struggles to convince the Japanese population of the
need for a constitutional change. Despite, having the political support, Abe’s faces a dilemma of
attempting to gain support for a constitutional amendment that Abe sees as necessary to maintain
peace. However, on the other side, the majority of the population suspects that such a change could
pose a threat to the existing peace. The objective of this project is to examine how the dilemma
concerning a constitutional change manifests itself in Abe’s political discourse in the period from
2012 to 2018. To examine this puzzle, we will operationalize the theoretical framework of Ernesto
Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s political discourse analysis. We will do this by applying the key
elements of Laclau and Mouffe’s political discourse theory as tools in our analysis. Our goal is to
reveal the meaning behind Abe’s discourse concerning a constitutional amendment. The discourse
analysis revolves around three key Statements by Abe in 2014, 2015, and 2018. The findings in the
analyses reveal how Abe attempts to shapes his discourse in order for it to mirror the dominant
pacifistic discourse.

UddannelserInternationale Studier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato27 maj 2019
Antal sider48
VejledereLouise Munkholm


  • Japan
  • Forfatningsændring
  • Artikel 9
  • Diskursanalyse
  • Laclau & Mouffe