Research on the
The Asia Pacific is emerging as the most
dynamic region in the global system. Included here are my recent
academic papers on political, strategic, and ideological developments
in the Asia-Pacific.
Recent Publications and
Scenarios for the Pacific Century
This paper was published in the journal World Futures
Forecasting is fraught with difficulty, but the
dynamic Asia-Pacific region is unlikely to remain static in its present
configuration. This paper offers 7 scenarios for the future of integration
of the Asia-Pacific that take into account economic, strategic, and
cultural dimensions of change, and the kinds of events that could
trigger regional reconfiguration. The scenarios are aligned along
a continuum from low to high tension: 1) a formal, multilateral security
regime, 2) a concert of Asia, 3) the status quo of integration under
Western hegemony, 4) integration without China, 5) a neo-Confucian
cultural zone, 6) tripolarization, and 7) a new cold war between the
U.S. and China. The most important bilateral relation shaping the
Asia-Pacific future is the U.S.-China relation. If this relationship
is well managed, and if regional multilateral institutions continue
to develop, tensions in the region are likely to remain low. But the
potential for serious conflict over Taiwan, Korea, trade issues, and
Asian values vs. Western values remains very real.
The Bush Administration, the North Korean Nuclear Crisis, and the
Future of Multilateralism in Northeast Asia
This paper was published in the
Vol. 16, Spring 2005.
American hegemony is based on a global system
of alliances and multilateral institutions, yet the U.S. has always
set itself above these international institutions as the sole righteous
judge of international conduct. The Bush administration’s foreign
policy expresses the same contradictions—desire for international
support but willingness to act without it. In the East Asian
region, during the Clinton administration America’s hegemonic alliance
systems were supplemented by a more inclusive and expansive
regional multilateralism. Some foresaw a post-hegemonic American
strategy of deepening regionalism and multilateralism. However,
the Bush administration doctrine of unilateral preemption of threats
puts in doubt the whole process of East Asian integration. If
this doctrine were applied to North Korea it could repolarize the
region. The inclusion of North Korea in the axis of evil has
been supplanted by demands for multilateral talks. This is a
more positive approach, but it is not yet clear whether the U.S. and
North Korea are ready to make the necessary compromises.
The Bush Administration
and the Range of Policy Options toward North Korea
Korea Relationship after the 2004 Presidential Election
This paper was published as part of the European and
Intercultural Discourses series, May 2005.
I. Bush Administration Policies toward North Korea
Key Events in Bush Administration Policy toward North
Conflicting Demands on U.S. Policy Toward North Korea
II. Possible Long-term Outcomes on the Korean Peninsula
III. Three Policy Approaches to the DPRK and Their Possible Outcomes
IV. Lessons of History for the Korean Peninsula
This paper was presented at the Research Institute for
International Affairs conference on North Korean Issues
The early days of the second Bush term will likely see
more temporizing and malign neglect because the contradictory policy pressures
apparent in the first term endure. Neoconservatives will still seek
greater confrontation and eventual regime change. The realities of
the region are that South Korea and China in particular will exert strong
pressures to avoid confrontation and pursue negotiation. The U.S. will
still be distracted by the conflict in Iraq and perhaps by new developments
in Palestine and/or Iran as well.
Frictions in the U.S.-South Korea Alliance
This article appeared in the Korea Herald in June 2004
Two Visions of Convergence in Northeast Asia: The Bush Administration,
North Korean Nuclear Weapons, and Regional Powers
This paper was published in the Journal of
American Studies in Spring 2004.
The economic and political integration of East
Asia has been dramatic yet the North Korean nuclear crisis threatens
to reverse this progress. While each nation in the region has
its own unique set of interests and perspectives on the Korean nuclear
issue, divisions between progressives and conservatives over how
to deal with the crisis cross national boundaries. Two different
views of how to further regional convergence and resolve the North
Korean nuclear crisis have emerged. A vision of evolutionary,
multilateral regional convergence sees parallel interests of all
the nations in the region in economic growth, political stability,
and a non-nuclear Korea, and believes these interests can be satisfied
through multilateral negotiation. This view has been challenged
by the hard-liners in the Bush administration who seek rapid regime
change in the North and resurgence of American hegemony in the Asia
Pacific. Rapid regime change in the North is unlikely to be
realized, and if it were to occur, it would likely be massively destabilizing,
imposing massive costs on both Koreas and repolarizing the Northeast
Asia region. The U.S. and its allies need to recognize
the reform dilemma North Korea faces. True reform of the North
cannot come until progress is made on the fundamental security issues.
The most hopeful sign is that recently the Bush administration has
muted its calls for regime change and begun to work through six party
talks toward a negotiated settlement.
The Nuclear Impasse on the Korean Peninsula: The More Things Change,
The More They Stay the Same
This article appeared in the International
Journal of Korean Unification Studies in January 2003
The revelation that North Korea has been secretly
enriching uranium for nuclear weapons in violation of its international
commitments has thrown the Korean peninsula into crisis. The
sunshine policy of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung has been
undermined, but the Bush administration’s hard-line expressed in the
“axis of evil” speech has also come in for criticism. At the
root of the current crisis is the failure of all sides to face up
to the fundamental security issues. Hard-liners in the U.S.
and the South should reconsider their desires for rapid regime change
in the North in light of its catastrophic consequences. The
interaction between reform in the North and easing of its security
situation needs to be more clearly recognized. Analysis of policy
options to reverse the North’s nuclear programs shows that use of
military force is much too costly and damaging to regional security.
and that isolation and sanctions alone will not stop the North from
acquiring nuclear weapons. In the long run, the way to get the
North to truly abandon its nuclear programs is not to isolate it further
or try to buy it off only with economic aid, but to establish security
cooperation in which all sides will have their security concerns addressed.
Democratization in Korea: Achievements and Remaining Tasks
This paper was presented at the Kim Dae Jung Peace Foundation's
celebration of the first anniversay of Kim Dae Jung's Nobel Peace
Leadership and Hegemony in the 2000 American Presidential Election:
Issues Affecting East Asia
This paper was published in the Journal of American Studies
in Winter 2000. It was presented at the American Studies
Association of Korea meeting in October 2000 in Wonju, Korea.
Review of Parallax Visions by Bruce Cumings
This review appeared in the Fall
2000 issue of the Journal of Asia-Pacific Affairs
In his latest work,
Bruce Cumings, who has generated more controversy than any other
Korea specialist, expands his provocative, contrarian perspective
to the entire Asia-Pacific region and particularly the U.S. view
of East Asia. The message in Cumings' metaphor of parallax vision
is an old one: No one is so blind as he who will not see. Without
recapitulating Cumings' entire metaphor, his basic thesis is that
how we see the "other" tells us more about ourselves that it does
Democratization in the Pacific Research
Although my original specialization was
in American politics, I have lived and worked for more than a decade
in East Asia, in both Japan and South Korea. Living on the edge of
global integration and cultural interaction, I have become ever more
interested in how well the idea of democracy "travels" when applied
to nations with very different history and values than those of the
West. The essay/chapters in this section are still very rough, but
they develop new approaches to an old problem.
Table of Contents
to find individual essays.
on Korean Life and Politics
After living in Korea for more than a decade, I have occasionally
written my reflections on Korean politics and culture.
Frictions in the U.S.-South Korea Alliance
This article appeared in the Korea Herald in June
for Korean Economic Restructuring?
This three part series appeared in the Korea
Times in January 2000.
and the IMF Crisis
This article appeared in the Korea Times
on May 25, 1998.
The Ups and
Downs of Living in Korea
This is a speech I gave to a Korean NGO, the Better
Korea Movement. To help prepare for Korea's hosting the 2002 soccer
World Cup, they invited several foreigners to speak on the difficulties
foreigners face in Korea.