Accession Number:

ADA464883

Title:

The Politics of Identity: History, Nationalism, and the Prospect for Peace in Post-Cold War East Asia

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

62.0

Abstract:

The main source of regional instability and potential conflict in Northeast Asia consists of those factors to which most international relations theorists have paid the least attention, namely, issues of memory, identity, and nationalism. The potential for violent military clashes in the Taiwan Strait and the Korean peninsula largely involve disputes over history and territory, linked as they are to the unresolved legacies of the Cold War a divided Korean peninsula and a divided China. The history disputes that surround these divisions continue to be a source of instability for the region. The clash between an increasingly divergent national identity in China and in Taiwan represents a new challenge for U.S. policy on China. Moreover, it is reshaping the security environment in the Taiwan Strait in potentially destabilizing ways. Similarly, the rise of pan-Korean nationalism in South Korea is problematic. Motivated by the desire of South Koreas younger generation to seek reconciliation rather than confrontation with North Korea, it has led to severe strains in U.S.-South Korean relations as both Washington and Seoul attempt to resolve the ongoing North Korean nuclear crisis. Linked to the rise of new and competing nationalisms in the region is Chinas and South Koreas suspicion of Japan and the rise of neonationalism in that country. U.S. mishandling of these regional tensions involving questions of identity and interpretations of history could plunge the entire region inadvertently into war and conflict. This monograph reflects on how the United States might respond to the emerging nationalisms in the region to promote stability and peace. Breaking with both realist and liberal analysis, the monograph offers a constructivist approach that highlights the central role that memory, history, and identity play in the international relations of the area, with wide-ranging implications for U.S. foreign policy.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE