Can regional mechanisms better institutionalize the increasing complexity of economic and security ties among the countries in Northeast Asia? As the international state system undergoes dramatic changes in both security and economic relations in the wake of the end of the Cold War, the Asian financial crisis, and the attack of 9/11, this question is now at the forefront of the minds of both academics and policymakers. Still, little research has been done to integrate the analysis of security and economic analysis of changes in the region within a broader context that will give us theoretically-informed policy insights.In investigating the origins and evolution of Northeast Asia’s new institutional architecture and community building, we focus on two sets of distinct but related aspects. The first concerns national strategies for a new institutional equilibrium and community building among key players in the region, including the U.S., China, Japan, the two Koreas, and Russia. The second examines the evolution of a new institutional architecture and community building in key functional issue areas, including trade, energy, environment, and security. We will draw policy implications with attention to possible linkages among the key players across the functional issue areas. We believe that our scholarly efforts will give us a unique perspective on the types of institutional solutions that may be feasible in Northeast Asia. In doing so, our hope is to provide policymakers and analysts with an institutional road map for the future.
Images from the conference (click on images to view larger version in a new browser window)