European analogies for a liberal peace in Northeast Asia

Brendan Howe


The efficacy of the triangle of economic interdependence, international organization, and democracy in constructing a zone of perpetual peace in Europe has led many commentators and practitioners to consider the viability of a similar liberal internationalist project in Northeast Asia. In contrast, this article contends that far from Northeast Asia being ripe for resolution in accordance with the liberal principles which brought peace to Europe in the second half of the twentieth century, the underlying strategic and security structures bear closer resemblance to those of Europe in the first half of the last century when liberal internationalism experienced a twenty-year crisis and the region was wracked by great power competition and confrontation. Nevertheless, there remains hope for the evolution of a zone of peace in Northeast Asia, but one based on rational and socially constructed pragmatic instruments rather than those of the liberal paradigm.


Integration; interdependence; crisis

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