Why is there no Northeast Asian security architecture? Assessing the strategic impediments to a stable East Asia

Dong Wang, F.M.S. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Exploring the ‘organization gap’ that exists in Northeast Asia, this article seeks to explain why there is no such minimal, Deutschian security community and discerns four impediments: played up islands disputes as a symptom of deep resentment shaped by histories of war and animosity; the rise of a fervent form of nationalism related to collective memories and projected at ‘the other;’ the American alliance system and China-US strategic distrust and rivalry; and the nuclear weapons pursuit of North Korea. Contrasting the fatalist logic of the dominant neorealist paradigm, the article goes into the deeper underlying and interconnected obstacles that sustain opposing blocs in Northeast Asia in a spiral of mistrust and arming. Arriving at the ‘Concert,’ or ‘Community’ proposed by White and Kissinger means that the structural, power aspect as well as the domestic socio-historic dynamics particular to Northeast Asia should be examined first. In doing so, the article puts forth conditions under which a process of ‘desecuritisation’ can lead to a viable community in Northeast Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-604
JournalThe Pacific Review
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2020

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