Sem: Regionalism in NE Asia
"Northeast Asia," including China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia, has long been largely a geographic reference, not a political community, nor an economic unit. Historical factors and contemporary obstacles prevent the emergence of a regional identity among the peoples of this region. However, debate is intensifying among academic and policy communities in the region about the feasibility and desirability of building Northeast Asia as a region whose members share a common political, economic, and security agenda, as well as a collective identity. Some argue it is both desirable and possible, while others assert that it is desirable but not possible. Still others propose that Northeast Asian countries should become part of an East Asia community, which would include Southeast Asian nations, or part of an even larger Asia-Pacific community, including the United States and other North and South American countries on the Pacific rim. One of the central questions on which these arguments rest is the role of nationalism and regional cooperation over transnational problems in obstructing or fostering the development of a regional identity. This seminar will examine the critical tension between nationalism and regionalism in Northeast Asia, as well as the future architecture of the region.