Yuji Masumura


Refereed Journal Articles

  • Yuji Masumura and Atsushi Tago, Micro-foundations of the Quest for Status: Testing Self-Status Perception and the Multilateral Use of Force, Foreign Policy Analysis, Volume 19, Issue 4, October 2023, orad027, https://doi.org/10.1093/fpa/orad027.
    Abstract Research on status in international relations has expanded in the last few decades. The key empirical studies suggest that status concern generates an incentive for initiating international conflicts since unilateral military engagement is believed to increase the status of a country. We concur with this argument. However, a further study should be conducted to find if "multilateral" military engagement can change status perceptions and therefore be related to international politics over status. The test is important since the multilateral use of force is distinct from the unilateral use of force in its theoretical background and its connotation in world politics. In our experiment conducted in Japan, we treat the information on the multilateral use of force, and examine whether variations of the treatment information change people's perception over their country's international status. The results show that participation in a multilateral use of force increases and an early departure from the multilateral mission out of casualty concerns decreases their country's status perception. Also, we successfully identify that the people who have a high social dominance orientation (SDO) trait are more susceptible to such information.
  • Working Papers

  • Preventive War and Domestic Politics (with Scott Wolford), Under Review
  • Abstract We analyze a model in which (a) preventive war eliminates a rising foreign threat but leaves its scale unobserved, (b) publics want to punish governments for waging war over small threats, and (c) avoiding political punishment gives governments incentives to misrepresent averted threats. We show that when the public is ex-ante skeptical over the scale of the threat and the government's military performance is middling, the probabilities of war, political punishment, and erroneous punishment all increase in military outcomes. Therefore, public strategies of punishing unsatisfactory war outcomes will be less successful at discouraging preventive wars than other types, and the same conditions that encourage governments to wage preventive war also make them less likely to benefit politically. We use this logic to explain why Japan could wage a successful preventive war against Russia in 1905 yet its public could rationally reject it as a failure.
  • A Tale of Experiment on Two-isms of International Relations: A Study in Japan (with Masanori Kikuchi and Atsushi Tago), Under Review
  • Abstract In International Relations (IR), the famous isms such as Realism and Liberalism still prevail. As the debate over those isms began to abate in the 1990s, some textbooks departed from teaching them, but as an information short-cut, the isms seem to have an impact on how people understand international relations. Those isms could affect the people to support a particular type of foreign policies. Our experiment, by using two kinds of framing on Realism and Liberalism respectively, uncovers how the isms can change the general public's perception over key international policies. The evidence shows that the people support unilateralism in national security motivated economic sanction cases if they are primed for Realism and see the policy would increase a country’s international status. By contrast, the study shows that the people are not really affected by Liberalism framing and being neutral for multilateral policy choices. The study is an example of showing the power of Realism and helps our understanding over how the people formulate their distinctive worldviews on international relations.

    Work in Progress

  • Deterrence and Alliance Burden-Sharing Negotiations
  • Buying Votes or Buying Authority? US Aid and the Presidency in the UN Security Council
  • Rules, Power of Chair, and Superpower Control in the UN Security Council
  • Arms Transfers and Alliance Control (with Yasuki Kudo)
  • Alliance and a Commitment Problem
  • Others


  • Diamond, L. (2019). Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency. Penguin Books. Translated into Japanese by Maiko Ichihara, Yuji Masumura, Takuto Tokairin, Atsushi Sugii, and Ryohei Suzuki [Publisher]