'One Piece' is one of the most popular Japanese anime of all time – translated into numerous languages - continuously being produced with a new episode coming out weekly since 1997. Although on the surface the story reads like a typical romantic pirate story about a swashbuckler hero seeking a hidden treasure, it also offers insightful reflections on intriguing questions about global order. The fact that in the story Monkey D. Luffy – the protagonist – and his crew declares war on the World Government almost invites such an allegoric interpretation. All the more so, as many of the characters in the anime struggle with dilemmas how to realize balance between order and justice – resonating Hedley Bull’s dilemma asking: “Can justice in world politics, in various senses, be achieved only by jeopardizing international order? (1971)”.
Akos KOPPER is Head of Department of International and European Studies at ELTE University. (PhD Bremen, MA CEU, MA ELTE). His main research interests are citizenship, civil society, diplomacy and the IR of the Far East. His works appeared among others in: International Studies Review, The Pacific Review, East European Politics, Journal of Civil Society or International Political Sociology. Along with his colleagues at CEU he is co-editor of the Journal of International Relations and Development, the official journal of the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA).