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Why is there no Northeast Asian security architecture?

Why is there no Northeast Asian security architecture? Assessing the strategic impediments to a stable East Asia. In this article, published in 'The Pacific Review', the authors Wang (Peking University) en Stevens (Leiden University) discuss the reasons why.

Dong Wang & Friso M.S. Stevens
06 January 2020
Taylor & Francis online

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;
  • 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.

Read the article on the website of Taylor & Francis online.

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