In 1985, a dispute over nuclear ship visits led the United States to formally suspend its security guarantee to New Zealand under the trilateral ANZUS Treaty. In this article, I conceptualize this dispute as a case of intra-alliance opposition by a small state toward its stronger ally. I generate four hypotheses from the literature on alliances in international relations to explain why New Zealand chose to oppose its ally on the nuclear ships issue. Using new evidence, including interviews with 22 individuals involved in the dispute and content analysis of debates in the New Zealand parliament from 1976 to 1984, I conclude that a desire for greater autonomy in foreign policy was the driving factor behind New Zealand’s opposition.
This article examines the feasibility of using role identity as an independent variable to explain the direction of a state’s national security policy. Focusing on the response of the Japanese government to the Gulf War (January-March 1991) and the U.S. War in Iraq (March-May 2003), the article examines the correlations between articulations of a preferred role for Japan made in the Japanese Diet, with these policy outcomes. It finds that the different balance of role conceptions held by Japanese politicians in the two periods under study can explain the difference in policy outcomes. The study also finds, however, that the salience of these role identities is affected by contextual factors. Under circumstances of heightened threat perception, Japanese policy makers were less inclined to articulate any sort of value-based role identity for Japan in favor of role statements that were characterized by pragmatism.