WHY DO WE STUDY CONFLICT AND SECURITY IN EAST ASIA?
East Asia is, without any doubt, one of the most dynamic and important regions in the world. With a strategically unpredicatble US under Trump, a rising China, a “normalising” Japan, a nuclear-armed North Korea, two divided nations – Korea and China, and several maritime territorial disputes, the East Asian region is increasingly important in global military and strategic terms, in addition to its significance in economic ones. In the post-Cold War era the region has been undergoing a major shift in the balance of power and has seen the intensification of several conflicts. At the same time, new initiatives for regional institution building and security cooperation, centred on ASEAN, have been established.
This course examines East Asian security since the end of the Cold War with reference to the sources, management and prevention of regional conflicts. Although the course focuses primarily on the Northeast Asian sub-region and major power relations, Southeast Asia, India, and the regional involvement of Russia and Europe are also discussed. The course further studies the development of regional cooperation and institution building in the larger context of the Asia-Pacific.
The course examines conflict and security in East Asia from two main perspectives: the first one explores the impact of Asia’s shifting geopolitical and strategic environment on regional relations, while the second one looks at the interplay of the domestic and foreign policies of the countries under consideration.