Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
UCL Medical School, alumna Department of War Studies, King's College London
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Military history, naval history, naval warfare, Imperial Japanese History, Imperial Japanese Navy, Classical Athenian Democracy, Classical Athens, Classical Athenian Navy, Greek Historiography, Greek rhetoric,
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About Me

I am a naval historian with a classical language and ancient history training background. I read Classics at undergraduate level at Royal Holloway, University of London, then read MA Ancient History at University of London. I primarily focused on Ancient Greek, Greek Historiography and Ancient Greek naval warfare.

This thesis establishes a case study-based comparison to assess how political institutions may define the way seapower identity and culture formed in the fifth century BC Classical Athens and why it failed to form in Imperial Japan. It seeks to advance the understanding of how seapower identity is constructed whilst being the first study of its kind in the field of comparative studies of ancient and modern states. It also refutes the traditional views of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as an apolitical service and the Athenian fleet as a naval mob.

The thesis suggests that two chronologically and geographically separate states that operated under different political systems shared similar political tensions and internal power competitions had both positive and negative effect on the development of seapower as cultural and political identity.

The institutional changes that Classical Athens and Imperial Japan underwent one transformed their politics, strategies, and cultural outlook: they were not accidental, but the result of a conscious decisions to respond to external threats, which prompted a rapid transformation of the way in which political institutions functioned. The ways in which the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Athenian fleet interacted with their political institutions were political and cultural consequences of the transformation both states had undergone. Critically these decisions were not accidental.

The detailed case studies of two comparanda demonstrates that the clash of political interests between different factions within domestic politics after successfully overcoming external threats laid the grounds for the political elites to choose the destructive paths that were experienced by Classical Athens and Imperial Japan.

The study demonstrates the importance of the delicate balance between the political institutions and the military services was the key for stability and state prosperity. It was neither the apolitical service nor the naval mob that led them to hubristic decisions or military expansion.

The comparison draws a collective conclusion that seapower identities and strategies in Classical Athens and Imperial Japan failed, because of those who opposed the idea of inclusive politics, predominantly supporters of the oligarchic rule and political conservatism, who found willing allies among the political institutions to pursuit their political opportunism. It argues that seapower politics and strategy could be maintained as long as these states consciously chose to sustain it. Seapower politics were essential to create and sustain a fundamental engagement between nation and ocean, from political inclusion to the rule of law.

I am bilingual in Japanese and English, I have over 10 years experience of working in Latin and Ancient Greek.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Asia, East Asia, Japan, Mediterranean, Pacific
Expertise by Chronology
Ancient, 7, 8
Expertise by Topic
Diplomacy, Government, Military, Politics, World War I, World War II