Rethinking Security in East Asia: Identity, Power, and Efficiency

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Edited by Peter J. Katzenstein, Allen Carlson and J.J. Suh

Is East Asia heading toward war? Throughout the 1990s, conventional wisdom among U.S. scholars of international relations held that institutionalized cooperation in Europe fosters peace, while its absence from East Asia portends conflict. Developments in Europe and Asia in the 1990s contradict the conventional wisdom without discrediting it. Explanations that derive from only one paradigm or research programme have shortcomings beyond their inability to recognize important empirical anomalies. International relations research is better served by combining explanatory approaches from different research traditions.

This book makes a case for a new theoretical approach (called analytical eclecticism by the authors) to the study of Asian security. It informs the analysis in subsequent chapters of central topics in East Asian security, with specific reference to China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. The authors conclude that the prospects for peace in East Asia look less dire than conventional in many cases Eurocentric theories of international relations suggest. At the same time, they point to a number of potentially destabilizing political developments.


J.J. SUH is Associate Professor and Director of Korea Studies at Johns Hopkins University and Academic Adviser of the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS.

Peter J. KATZENSTEIN is the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr., Professor of International Studies at Cornell University.

Allen CARLSON is Associate Professor in the Government Department at Cornell University.


Studies in Asian Security
Publication Year: 2008
288 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-440-1, Paperback

NUS Press and Stanford University Press