Regional security communities in East Asia: Theory & practice

Posted: January 21, 2011 in Philippine foreign policy blog, Regional security

This is another cross-posting from the Forging a New Philippine Foreign Policy (FNPFP) blog which I moderate.  It is the first chapter of the book entitled Regional Security in East Asia published by the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines in 2008 and edited by former Asian Center dean Professor Aileen Baviera. It is written by Sorpong Peou, a Cambodian who is professor at Sophia University.



[SORPONG PEOU is Professor of International Security at Sophia University, Japan. He has written on Cambodian politics, international peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and regional security in Pacific Asia.]

Building security communities in Pacific Asia is no longer the pipedream that realists tend to see it, but rather a real possibility that rests on concrete evidence. The hard question for us is to discover the means to build one without subscribing to untested polemics or ill-informed policy rhetoric still evident across this region, but also without ignoring rich insights from historical experience found in realism and other theoretical traditions, most notably Kantian internationalism and constructivism.

This chapter develops a theoretical eclectic proposition that security community building and maintenance depends on at least two independent or interdependent variables: democratic norms and democratic community leadership. It advances a perspective called democratic realist institutionalism. Liberal democracy will not put an end to competition for power among democratic states, but they tend to grow into the new realism that war no longer serves as the appropriate means for their competition.

BUILDING A SECURITY community in East Asia is no longer the pipedream that realists have tended to see it, but rather a real possibility that rests on concrete evidence. The security communities that currently exist include North America, the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and both the U.S.-Japanese and U.S.-Israeli security alliances.

Regarding North America, Kalevi Holsti observed during the Cold War that, “there is little question that Canada and the United States constitute a pluralistic security community. It is difficult to contemplate the two governments using violence against each other, planning military operations to the north or south, or targeting military capabilities toward each other”.

Ole Wæver describes Western Europe as a “non-war community”. Thomas Risse-Kappen argues that NATO has become a Transatlantic Security Community. Michael Barnett makes the case for Israel and the United States as a security community.

Even realist-inclined pessimists do not rule out the possibility of a security community in East Asia, but they question whether states in the region will be able to form one on a regional scale in the near future.

Aaron Friedberg, for instance, famously contends that East Asia is “ripe for rivalry” and that “in the long run it is Asia that seems far more likely [than Europe] to be the cockpit of great power conflict.” “If five hundred years of European history are of any guide,” we are told, “the prospect of a multipolar system emerging in Asia cannot be an especially comforting one”. Thus, “Europe’s past could be Asia’s future.” According to his alarming prediction, “twenty-first century Asia may come to resemble nineteenth century Europe. Asia…will probably contain a group of big powers (including China, India, Russia and Japan, with the United States playing a role from across the Pacific) as well as several somewhat less powerful, but still potentially quite capable actors.”

However, this is perhaps more evidence of progress in European history than it is a prediction that East Asia will never experience such progress. Although a multilateral security community is nowhere in sight on East Asia’s horizon, it remains a long-term possibility.

The hard question for us is to discover the means to build one without relying on or subscribing to the untested polemics or hurried policy rhetoric still evident across this region, but also without ignoring the rich insights from historical experience found in realism and other theoretical traditions, most notably Kantian internationalism and constructivism.

States can collaborate when facing a common threat under anarchy, but this alone makes them more of a military alliance than a security community; shared fundamental democratic norms and institutions, however, can serve as a powerful non-material force that helps nurture a sense of community among them.

Democratic community leadership appears to be the second crucial variable. Based on the historical experience shared by the security communities that exist today, this chapter develops a theoretical proposition that security community building and maintenance depend on at least these two independent or interdependent variables: democratic norms and democratic community leadership. Members of a security community may never completely transcend the reality of relative power and balance-of-power politics among themselves, but they seem far more effective than autocratic states in making joint efforts to manage conflict or form and maintain a community.

This chapter advances a perspective called democratic realist institutionalism based on the proposition that liberal democracy will not put an end to competition for power among contending forces within domestic politics, nor do democratic states become apolitical by transcending power politics. Democracies can grow into the new realism that war no longer serves as the appropriate means for their competition.

Security Communities: A State-centric Framework

Exactly how states can transform their realist world into one based on security communities remains a matter of debate. Constructivists have so far offered the best clue. Alexander Wendt’s typology of anarchy, for instance, helps us classify three groups of states: Hobbesian, Lockean, and Kantian.

This paper argues that there exist three broad types of cooperation for security among states under anarchy: 1) the Hobbesian type of collective- defense alliances, 2) the Lockean type of collective- security regimes, and 3) the Kantian type of democratic-security communities.

According to the realist camp, the perils states face today remain deeply rooted in irredeemable conditions found in human ambitions, international anarchy, or both. The international system is anarchical and thus competitive, since states engage in endemic and unlimited warfare: the strong do what they have to do, while the weak must accept what they have to accept. Powerful states conquer and dominate weaker ones and naturally pursue a militant strategy of empire building. In this Darwinist world, ‘unfit’ states become extinct, while the ‘fittest’ survive. States supposedly exist in the ‘state of nature,’ in which the ‘war of all against all’ applies; they follow the logic of ‘kill or be killed’. States are accustomed into thinking that war is ‘natural,’ that ‘power’ is what they aim to maximize, and that self-help is what international politics is all about. There is thus a high rate of state deaths. Military power remains the most important means of national security. To survive, states must help themselves by arming to the teeth.

This does not imply that states in such Hobbesian cultures are incapable of cooperation. When threatened by a common enemy, states will form military alliances. They tend to balance power or threats, but such balancing leaves no room for neutrality or non-alignment. Military alliances remain durable as long as states face the same enemy, but their collective defense ends as soon as the common threat disappears.

In Lockean cultures, however, states have a more relaxed view of their security, since they treat each other as rivals rather than enemies. As in the Hobbesian world, international anarchy still exists, but Lockean anarchy is one characterized by international ‘rivalry’ based on two basic norms: self-help and mutual help. States under Lockean anarchy should be seen as maturing: they become more secure than those still under Hobbesian anarchy. They also tend to become more status quo-oriented and only respond to others’ threats defensively, although bad states still behave offensively. States thus grow out of the Hobbesian obsession with self- preservation. War is no longer considered ‘natural’, but as something more manageable. As such states recognize each other’s right to sovereignty, which is viewed as “an intrinsic property of the state” and “an institution” that should not be taken away from each other.

Lockean states operate within an international rule-of-law system that remains incomplete and under the rule of self-restraint. Military power remains important and balancing behavior still exists, because states remain self-interested individuals.

As Inis Claude puts it: “the problem of power is here to stay; it is, realistically, not a problem to be eliminated but a problem to be managed.” But power is managed through international institutions, which operate differently from military alliances associated with the realist concept of balancing. A proponent of collective security, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson expressed his contempt for collective defense, using the following words: “The day we left behind us was a day of alliances. It was a day of balances of power. It was a day of ‘every nation takes care of itself or makes a partnership with some other nation or group of nations to hold the peace of the world steady or to dominate the weaker portions of the world’.” After World War I, Wilson asserted that collective security is “not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized common peace.”

As states still regard one another as rivals, they may even engage in disputes (territorial or otherwise) and may use force to settle them. This is a new form of balancing under the condition known as the preponderance of international power. Contrary to the realist logic of power balancing, states balance against aggression – a type of behavior judged to be bad by international law, rather than normal or natural by the law of the jungle.

Lockean states remain less mature than Kantian states, though: the former are still “afflicted with a possessive individualism stemming from collective amnesia about their social roots.” In Kantian cultures, states learn to identify one another as members of a ‘pluralistic security community’ – the way Karl Deutsch, his associates, and others in recent decades have identified them – rather than as individuals operating in the self-help international system or international anarchical society.

International anarchy still exists, but states no longer treat one another as rivals. Their collective identity is defined in terms of friendship, which differs from alliances in Hobbesian terms and is not simply built on a Leviathan but on “shared knowledge of each other’s peaceful intentions and behavior.” Under Kantian anarchy, states also regard one another as ‘friends’ or ‘team players’, whose collective norms – namely, nonviolence and other-help or altruism – guide their mutual relations.

Conflicts among Kantian states can still arise; however, when they do, states resort not to war (which is considered illegitimate), but to peaceful methods of dispute settlement, including negotiation, arbitration, and adjudication. When threatened by a third party outside their community, states are expected to fight as a team, not simply as self-interested allies. The durability of their friendships is greater than that of threat-specific temporary alliances found in Hobbesian cultures. When these norms are viewed as legitimate, states no longer see each other’s security interests in instrumental terms but in terms of their own and behave in ways considered altruistic. Because levels of trust among them are high, their friendships remain based on the de facto rule of law by which they agree to abide voluntarily.

The literature on security community studies further tells us that there are two basic types: amalgamated and pluralistic. States wishing to build an amalgamated security community develop a vision for common government under which none remains sovereign. Members of such a community forfeit their sovereignty in an effort to unify themselves through the establishment of a formal supranational organization.

According to Deutsch and his associates, an amalgamated security community results from the “formal merger of two or more previously independent units into a single larger unit, with some type of common government after amalgamation.” Proponents of this community type rely on the historical example of how the United States came into existence and the expectation that the European Union (EU) will become the United States of Europe.

Realistically, states in today’s world can only hope to build pluralistic security communities; for most scholars and state leaders, any vision for world or regional government seems out of reach. The basic feature of pluralistic security communities is that their members retain their political sovereignty. They retain their political independence but develop a sense of mutual trust based a sense of collective identity and mutual loyalty.

There are at least two basic types of pluralistic security communities. Both Adler and Barnett call the first “loosely-coupled security communities”, whose members no longer expect any “bellicose activities” from one another and “consistently practice self-restraint.” The second type is characterized as “tightly-coupled”, because member states “have a ‘mutual aid’ society in which they construct collective system arrangements.” They “possess a system of rule that lies somewhere between a sovereign state and a regional, centralized government.” Tightly-coupled pluralistic security communities are “transnational communities” with governance structures “linked to dependable expectations of peaceful change.”

What are the specific steps states usually take when they engage in the process of building pluralistic security communities? Ole Wæver calls them “non-war” communities in that their members do not expect to wage war against each other. As members of a regional security community, for instance, Canada and the United States need not form a supranational regional organization demanding that they forfeit their political sovereignty and submit themselves to common rule. They may even form military alliances to defend themselves against a common enemy.

Moreover, competition for power among community members does not cease. Members of NATO have never been completely set free from balance-of-threat politics, either. Even social constructivists have acknowledged this continuity. According to Christopher Hemmer and Peter Katzenstein, for instance, “A North Atlantic arrangement would allow Canada to use the European states as a balance against the United States” (“balancing U.S. preponderance in NATO in the case of Canada”). Although France and the United States have been NATO members, their differences (since President Charles de Gaulle was in power in the late 1960s) at times seemed unbridgeable. French cooperation within NATO remained tenuous. In more recent years, French leaders have sought to balance American “hyper-power.”

Kenneth Waltz found evidence of European discontent with American power and expects European states, such as France and Germany, to balance it. As he puts it: Now as earlier, European leaders express discontent with Europe’s secondary position, chafe at America’s making most of the important decisions, and show a desire to direct their own destiny. French leaders often vent their frustration and pine for a world, as Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine recently put it, ‘of several poles, not just a single one’. President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin call for a strengthening of such multilateral institutions as the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations, although how this would diminish America’s influence is not explained. More to the point, Védrine complains that since President John Kennedy, Americans have talked of a European pillar for the alliance, a pillar that is never built.

We still witness counter-hegemonic politics among democratic states, and should have no illusions that the game will ever cease to exist. Adler asserts that, “the existence of security communities does not mean that interest-based behavior by states will end, that material factors will cease to shape interstate practices, and that the security dilemma will end.”

Constructivists would thus be unwise if they naively ignored balance-of- power politics among security community members. There are concrete signposts that mark clear distinctions between security communities in the Kantian world and collective-defense alliances in the Hobbesian world or collective-security coalitions in the Lockean world.

One conspicuous signpost indicating mutual trust between or among security community members is border demilitarization, when states begin to demilitarize their joint borders. They end military preparations for war against each other and signal their non-aggressive intentions toward each other. They reduce material resources to defense, stop fortifying their border, and begin to expect peace in their mutual relations.

The next question for us then is whether there are credible alternatives to state-centric ones. Proponents may wish to remove the state in favor of other non-state actors, but cannot get far.

Even critical theorists do not reject the role of states in providing for security, although they value non- state actors. Alex Bellamy and Matt McDonald, for instance, contend that their stance “does not mean that states cannot fulfill a positive role in pursuing human security”, that states have the responsibility to protect individual human beings, but that states do not always play a positive role.

Neither can we count on the United Nations for regional security based on the concept of collective security, which has so far failed miserably.

I still defend an argument I made in 1997: “Although it will never be in the position to create a strife-free Utopia, the UN is the only global body with the best potential to keep its members [and other actors] thinking collectively about what they can do to prevent hell on earth from breaking loose.”

My point should be treated as a statement of aspiration rather than a validation of reality. The world organization still serves as the symbol of global unity in a disunited world and cannot act freely on its own initiative without the active support of member states. William Tow and Russell Trood are still right: “Unfortunately, we cannot presume that the world’s humanitarians will be left alone to implement their bold agenda unencumbered by the affairs of states. The coordination of strategies and resources needed to advance security on a global basis cannot be achieved by relying solely, or even primarily, on the present assortment of universalist organizations and regimes.”

In short, then, pluralistic security communities remain state-centric: they are made up of independent states assumed to develop dependable expectations for peaceful change (no longer prepared to resort to war as the means to settle their disputes). Neither do they need to rely on supranational institutions. As community members, states trust one another enough to co-exist peacefully, but the level of their mutual trust may never completely transcend balance-of-power logic.

A Theoretical Argument: Toward Democratic Realist Institutionalism

The biggest question is what causes states to collaborate effectively on pluralistic security community building and maintenance. Neo-liberal or rational choice institutionalists give us little to go on. At the risk of oversimplification, the theory assumes that individual actors are egoistic in the pursuit of self-interest and as such can build institutions that will serve their individual objectives. Designed and built through information flows and transparency, ‘chosen’ institutions are instrumental to their individual interests.

This type of institutionalism raises some difficult questions: Why are some institutions weaker than others? Why should egoistic state actors work together to overcome their collective-action problem when they prefer someone else to supply the institution that will serve a common purpose? Historical institutionalism explains continuity or stability better than neo- liberal institutionalism, but does not explain change well. Ontologically, it assumes that there is a reality ‘out there’ that can be explained. Epistemologically, it agrees with positivism as far as causal effects on actors’ behavior are concerned. Unlike positivism, however, deep and unobservable structures (such as structured inequality) that can determine behavior or effect decision-making cannot be directly observed.

Institutions are treated as historical products that exist anterior and a priori to any agent operating with them. Regardless of who the actors are, the existing institutions remain unchanged because they constrain agents and produce path-dependent policy-making. Change is possible but only in incremental fashion, when responding to changing demands by agents. But if institutional change is subject to demands, historical institutionalism sounds more like rational-choice or neo-liberal institutionalism emphasizing the role of agency and rationality. Neo-liberal/rational choice and historical institutionalisms are in fact different in that “historical institutionalists did not need to explain stability as much as they needed to explain change. They were fine on why things did not change all that much, but tended to be rather surprised when they did.”

Mark Blyth offers a useful solution to the problem by adding ideas to help explain change. Ideas do not violate the ontological claim of historical institutionalism as much as they violate the ontological claim of rationalism, which tends to assume that ideas are instrumental of rather than determine agents’ preferences. Based on foundationalism as its ontological position but realism as its epistemological position, historical institutionalism plus ideas can be regarded as more if not “truly progressive.”

Normative or cultural institutionalism proves more helpful in terms of its ontological ability to allow for the possibility of explaining change through norm creation. Cultural norms are treated as determining ‘appropriate’ behavior, but remaining dynamic: they allow room for individuals or groups considered to have some power of independent thinking to challenge and change existing norms through such actions as campaigning and persuasion.

The norm of humanitarian intervention, for instance, has its roots in the campaign of advocates involved in humanitarian affairs. Prior to that, the norm of non-intervention reigned supreme, as it still does in various regions of the world. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) engaged in the campaign to protect people during wartime and its advocacy gave rise to international humanitarian law. Efforts to ban anti-personnel landmines led to the Ottawa Convention, ratified by 137 states in the early 2000s, but it was the ICRC that made the first call for a landmine ban. Other states and non-state actors subsequently became involved. As a result, negotiations on landmines began and the Ottawa process got underway. The same can also be said about global efforts to eliminate small arms and light weapons around the world. Multilateral diplomacy and non-governmental actors have played crucial roles in advocating and creating new norms that have shaped states’ interests on human security issues.

Still, there are limits to what norms can do to bring about change, such as better security communities. The norms banning small arms, light weapons, and landmines have succeeded to the extent that they do not threaten states’ security interests protected by strategic weapons. The new norms advocated to govern conventional arms today remain as ineffective as they were in the past, as “every state [still] has a right to defend itself by manufacturing, exporting, and importing any weapon it deems fit in the name of national defense.”

Also, when it comes to national security, the norm of secrecy still prevails over that of transparency. As an alternative perspective, the democratic realist institutionalism advanced as this study’s analytical purpose builds on both historical and normative institutionalisms by adding two variables: liberal democratic norms and material power. These variables, which can be epistemologically assumed to have causal effects on actors’ behavior, are both normative or non-material str uctures (such as democratic nor ms, which must be interpreted) and material structures (such as capabilities that can be quantified to help us measure power differential or distribution among actors), which determine behavior or affect decision-making.

It may be helpful to clarify first what I mean by liberal democratic norms. They do not exist just because elections are held on a regular basis and on a free and fair fashion, nor do they imply that only democratic states perform better than autocratic states in economic terms. People and leaders in democracies can learn to respect the norms of equality among themselves in the political and racial sense. The argument that liberal democracy is an evil form of government or that multi-ethnic societies do not need it ignores the fact that political and racial tolerance remains a key liberal norm. Liberal democracies practice such tolerance.

There still exists the question of whether liberal democratic norms help states meet the requirements for community building. Alexander Wendt remains agnostic about whether Immanuel Kant’s republican states are the only type of states that can internalize democratic norms of the liberal peace.

Others contend that states cannot build security communities if they do not share a strong view of the status quo and do not have a regional culture and well-developed institutions, but downplay the role of democracy by making the following qualification. In their words: “Democracy may not be a necessary condition but, as suggested by the democracy and peace literature (and by the empirical cases to date), it is a huge asset.”

But it remains difficult to sustain the argument that non-democratic states can internalize and apply liberal democratic norms to the extent that they help transform their institutions, such as security alliances or regimes, into security communities. We have now learned that non-democratic states may have tried to build pluralistic security communities, but evidence works against their political vision. Michael Barnett, for instance, advances the argument that non-democratic states in the Arab region did make efforts to form alliances among themselves based on pan-Arabism, but their collective identity was weaker than collective identities among democratic states. Heads of Arab states “routinely paid lip service to the [non-democratic] ideals of pan-Arabism while engaging in power-seeking behavior.” Pan-Arabism was supposed to give rise to a regional political community that defends Arabs wherever they may reside, works toward political unification among them, and strengthens the bonds of Arab unity. Arab states even sought to build security arrangements based on the liberal norms of nonviolence, consultation, and compromise. But none of their groups, most notably the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has been considered a regional security community. The GCC remains based on a certain shared Arab identity, rather than on shared liberal democratic norms: its member “states were all monarchies” and remain undemocratic. We also have no concrete examples of security communities whose members contain a mixture of democratic and non-democratic regimes.

This further helps explain why the two different types of states may form security institutions, but do not identify each other as long-lasting or close friends or members of a security community. Based on the democratic dyadic model, evidence suggests that democratic states do not trust autocratic states. If both types of states are in a major crisis, democracies may not seek compromise through negotiation. The ‘democratic peace’ thesis further demonstrates that democratic and non-democratic states may attempt to build security communities together in their regions, but these projects tend to fail, sooner or later.

One obvious reason is that democratic states are not less prone to war against non- democratic states than the latter, which also have a strong record of waging war against each other. Kantian internationalists do not argue that liberal democracies are pacific toward non-liberal states. In fact, they say, liberal states have waged wars against non-liberal states and may be even more war-prone than the latter. Liberal states, for instance, have a strong record of invading weak non-liberal states in different parts of the world (for example, colonial wars and US intervention in Third World states).

When disputes between democratic and non-democratic states arise, the former may also escalate ongoing tensions and initiate military hostilities. This explains the dangers of war posed by powerful democracies, but still validates the liberal peace thesis.

Among themselves, however, democracies tend to be pro-status quo, tend to share liberal cultural values that promote the norms of nonviolence and mutual respect, and tend to develop more stable institutions. First and foremost, empirical studies strongly show that democratic durability may have more to do with the fact that liberal democracies tend to be pro-status quo: they enjoy more satisfaction with their positions vis-à-vis each other than non-democracies, which tend to be revisionist. Other studies also show that rising democracies prove less likely to escalate war against leading democracies or less likely than autocracies to become revisionist and thus less likely to use force to challenge the status quo.

Second, democracies share a set of liberal cultural norms that promote peaceful conflict resolution on the basis of mutual tolerance and respect. Democratic powers tend resolve their mutual disputes in a manner short of war. Democracies tend to perceive each other as peaceful because of the democratic norms governing their domestic decision-making processes.

What, then, are the democratic norms most conducive to the process of trust building? Some of the most important are peaceful dispute settlement (non-recourse to war, negotiation, and compromise) and legal equality (voting equality and certain egalitarian rights to human dignity). Liberal state leaders who adopt the norm of nonviolence tend to favor negotiation and compromise. According to one study, “democracies are unlikely to initiate crises with all other types of states, but once in a crisis, democracies are clearly less likely to initiate violence only against other democracies.” Levels of mutual trust among them are high enough that, even in crisis times, their leaders are less likely to initiate violence against each other. France and the United States, for instance, had their differences soon after NATO came into existence, but “in no instance did one party conceive of, or threaten to, employ force against the other; no military capabilities were mobilized to signify total commitment to an objective, and communication between Paris and Washington did not break down.”

Democratic states have a tendency to rely on the need for conflict resolution because of their shared normative commitment to peace through respect for the rule of law. Democratic leaders prove better equipped than autocratic state leaders when it comes to diffusing conflict situations at an early stage, before they escalate to military violence. When disputes arise, democratic leaders seek accommodation. They comply with the democratic norm of “bounded competition” common to all democracies in that they “agree not to employ physically coercive or violent means to secure a winning position on contentious public issues.”

Among themselves, liberal democratic states tend to rely on institutional means to resolve their conflicts. They resort to binding international arbitration by agreeing to accept arbitrators’ final decisions. According to a study of 206 dyadic disputes, “The presence of joint democracy in dangerous, war-prone dyads has a strong positive effect on the probability of referring interstate disputes to binding third-party settlement, even when controlling for alliance bonds and geographic proximity.”

The norms of peaceful conflict resolution depend on other liberal norms, however. If some states regard other states as politically or racially inferior, no security community can be formed and effectively maintained. For instance, the United States and Canada went to war in 1812, despite the fact they both were democratic states. The United States was a liberal democracy, but not all American leaders adopted the liberal norms of political equality vis-à-vis Canada. American leaders with annexationist ambitions saw Canada as a British colony, and this perception may have led some of them to regard their neighbor’s parliamentary system as “anti-democratic and tyrannical.”

According to Sean Shore, “[Americans who then rejected British systems]…could not accept that British Canada could ever be part of the North American experiment in democracy.” Even among some liberal democracies, the threat of racialism to community building may still pose an enormous challenge. According to E. H. Carr, long known as a classical arch-realist in the field of international relations, racialism can implicitly place a high bar on different nations taking steps to build a community: The vividness of his [the Englishman’s] picture of ‘foreigners’ will commonly vary in relation to geographical, racial and linguistic proximity, so that the ordinary Englishman will be likely to feel that he has something, however slight, in common with the German or the Australian and nothing at all in common with the Chinese or the Turks.

Liberal internationalists may thus talk about liberty, but Carr contended that the liberal principle of international equality alone would not fully reflect the existence of “discrimination” within the “international community.” In his words, “Equality is never absolute, and may perhaps be defined as an absence of discrimination for reasons which are felt to be irrelevant.” He thinks “the principle would be infringed, and the community broken, if people with blue eyes were less favorably treated than people with brown, or people from Surrey than people from Hampshire.” Germany under Adolf Hitler may have initially been democratic, but its political elites emerged as racists who rejected the norms of racial equality and then dragged their country into war against other democratic states, most notably those in Europe.

Carr was at the time critical of Western liberal racialism, which did not initially give rise to the norm of racial equality among nations or states. The “doctrine of progress” or the “harmony of interests” is disguised in racialist terms: liberal states pursued this doctrine “through the elimination of unfit nations” and “[t]the harmony of interests was established through the sacrifice of ‘unfit’ Africans and Asiatics.”

Liberalism embedded in racialism can thus perpetuate militarism. According to Michael Mann, “the association of liberalism, constitutionalism or democracy with pacifism is a complete and utter fabrication.” Western liberal regimes committed terrible atrocities in the past. History shows “European racism … encouraged the worst atrocities. Thus the Spanish and Portuguese colonies saw fewer atrocities than the British, while the democratic American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand ex-colonies perpetuated more than had their former colonial masters.” If unmanaged or minimized, racialism can thus hinder the process of trust building essential to the process of security community building. Some further contend that “Xenophobia against citizens of neighboring states…has no place in a security community, since a regional community demands a sense of ‘we-ness’ among the members of that community.”

Critical theories also shed light on how racialism exists in liberal democracies and can generate division within and between them. Military values in Western liberal democracies still nurture racialism. When leaders and people in democratic states regard one another on the basis of equality in political and racial terms, the chance of creating a security community looks brighter.

For instance, NATO as a military alliance transformed into a security community resulted from the United States’ commitment to it. From the beginning, U.S. policymakers saw their European allies “as relatively equal members of a shared community.” Race also played a crucial role. Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Will Clayton, who expressed hopes that NATO would serve as the first step toward the formation of an Atlantic Federal Union, asserted that, “my idea would be that in the beginning the union would be composed of all countries that have our ideas and ideals of freedom and that are composed of the white race.”

Liberal democracy, however, makes it possible for state leaders and their peoples to combat racism openly, as evident in the United States since the 1960s. In short, liberal democracy based on the norms of political and racial equality appears to help transform the Lockean society of sovereign states into a Kantian community.

Third, democracies tend to develop relatively robust, durable, stable, and effective institutions, when compared with non-democratic states. Other liberal scholars, such as Anne-Marie Slaughter, have further advanced a neo- liberal legal institutionalist proposition that regimes whose members include liberal and non-liberal states or have only non-liberal members are less robust than regimes with members that are liberal democracies. Kurt Gaubatz argues that, “democracies are no different than nondemocracies when it comes to relationships with nondemocracies. It is only alliances between democracies that appear to be more durable.”

The durability of military alliances between or among democratic states, which can subsequently form into security communities, further suggests that most realists, who exclusively stress the system effect of anarchy on state behavior, overlook the pacifying effect of liberal norms and democratic institutions. If strong institutions are supposed to help mitigate war-prone behavior and resolve conflicts peacefully among states (as neo-liberal institutionalists tend to suggest), we also need to ask if we treat such institutions as completely separable from the matter of democracy.

Bruce Russett makes an important observation: “individual autonomy and pluralism within democratic states foster the emergence of transnational linkages and institutions – among individuals, private groups, and government agencies.” He adds that, “Those linkages can serve to resolve transnational conflicts peacefully and…inhibit their national governments from acting violently toward each other.” In comparative terms, “Democracies are open to many private and government transnational linkages; autocracies rarely are.”

Democracies, however, do not rely exclusively on liberal-democratic norms to transform themselves into security communities. Such norms themselves prove insufficient for explaining the existence or persistence of security communities. Bruce Russett acknowledges that democratic norms “do sometimes break down” (or “may be violated and break down”). Risse-Kappen similarly admits “norms can be violated.” John Ikenberry argues that liberal hegemonies help institutionalize and stabilize international politics.

Other social constructivists have argued that material power still matters in the process of community building. Powerful states can lead weak ones, not vice versa. In Wendt’s words: “A Lockean culture with 200 members will not change just because two of its members acquire a Kantian identity, unless perhaps they are also its only superpowers, in which case other states may follow suit.” Still other constructivists believe material power matters, although they emphasize the positive images of powerful states. According to some, “power can be a magnet; a community formed around a group of strong powers creates the expectations that weaker states will be able to enjoy the security and potentially other benefits that are associated with that community.”

In other words, “those powerful states who belong to the core of strength do not create security per se; rather, because of their positive images of security or material progress that are associated with powerful and successful states, security communities develop around them.” They view “the development of a security community” as “not antagonistic to the language of power; indeed, it is dependent on it.” Martha Finnemore makes it clear that “norms, rules and routines…will serve the interests of powerful actors; they will not survive long if they do not.”

A realist, Stephen Walt further observes that “constructivists admit that ideas will have greater impact when backed by powerful states and reinforced by enduring material forces.” Without democratic leadership, security communities may not be effectively maintained. Democratic leadership provides powerful binding glue, especially when democratic members of security communities get involved in crises. The point can be illustrated by the divergence of views during the 1956 Suez Crisis between the United States on the one hand and its allies, France, Britain, and Israel, on the other. Apparently, democratic leadership mattered during the Suez Crisis. According to Risse-Kappen, “No longer bound by the norms of appropriate behavior, the U.S. used its superior power and prevailed…the U.S. and British worked hard to restore the transatlantic community, suggesting that they did not regard the sort of confrontations experienced during the Suez crisis as appropriate behavior among democratic allies.”

The role of democratic leadership has also been essential to the maintenance of the U.S.-Israel security community. If the United States was unable to provide Israel with uninterrupted assistance, their alliance would have been unstable and might not have been transformed into a security community. One positive effect of democratic community leadership is that military alliances among democracies, which are not always equal in material terms (for example, NATO), tend to prove more durable than those among autocracies. Realist works confirm that even if a new democracy becomes powerful and subsequently seeks to balance the incumbent leader in an effort to become the new hegemon, power transition among them is less likely to be prone to war. Even some neo-classical realists believe that this may be the case. William C. Wohlforth, for instance, wrote in defense of a unipolar world, viewing it as more peaceful and durable than either bipolarity or multipolarity. He contends, for instance, that although Japan and Germany are two prime contenders for polar status by balancing American power, they are unlikely to do so, because these states “are close U.S. allies with deeply embedded security dependence on the United States.” Why did they remain close allies after the end of the Cold War and the Soviet threat? Wohlforth would argue that the preponderance of U.S. power became so undisputed that balancing is now a futile game. This appears to be the case because “the evidence suggests that states are only now coming to terms with unipolarity,” but these three powers are democratic states sharing the same liberal national identity. Wohlforth seems to agree when he makes the following remark: “None of the major powers is balancing [the US power in the post-Cold War era]; most have scaled back military expenditures faster than the United States has. One reason may be that democracy and globalization have changed the nature of world politics.” Contrary to some realists’ assumption that when challenged from below, hegemons resort to preventive war, powerful democratic states are less likely to wage war against non-democratic states in order to prevent the latter’s rise to the top in the international system. The United States, which enjoyed a nuclear monopoly during the first four years of the Cold War, could have launched a preventive nuclear war on the Soviet Union, which did not yet possess nuclear capabilities. Randall Schweller demonstrates that since 1665 powerful but declining democracies (whose citizens behave on the basis of idealism/pacifism and “liberal complaisance”) waged no war against rising, challenging powers, regardless of the latter’s regime type (democratic or autocratic). In his words: “Declining democratic states…do not [wage preventive wars against rising opponents]. Instead, when the challenger is an authoritarian state, declining democratic leaders [under domestic constraints] attempt to form [defensive] counterbalancing alliances; when the challenger is another democratic state, they seek accommodation.”

Schweller does not argue “that a faltering democratic hegemon graciously concedes its leadership to a democratic aspirant,” but strongly emphasizes “that preventive war is never seriously considered…the declining democratic state is satisfied with an increase in its absolute gains through accommodation with the democratic challenger.” Leading democracies on the decline prove far less likely than declining autocracies to wage preventive wars against rising democratic powers.

According to Barry Buzan, “Britain did not find it necessary to challenge the rise of the U.S. Navy during the late nineteenth century.” After World War I, Great Britain was on the decline, but did not perceive the growth of American power with great alarm.

Preventive war is thus less likely to happen when major states involved in power transition are democratic. Leading democracies are more likely to accept the rise of fellow democracies than the rise of autocratic challengers. Schweller, for instance, notes that “Germany’s democratic allies to the west and smaller neighbors to the east…have not expressed great alarm over the anticipated rise in German power and influence.”

Even realists continue to disagree on how states respond to U.S. power. For some, attempts at balancing power in the present unipolar world are more “rhetorical” than real. Although he does not make any distinction between democracies and non-democracies, Wohlforth wrote: “Most of the counterbalancing that has occurred since 1991 has been rhetorical. Notably absent is any willingness on the part of the other great powers to accept any significant political or economic costs in countering U.S. power. Most of the world’s powers are busy trying to climb the American bandwagon even as they curtail their military outlays.”

Liberal Democratic Norms’ Serious Implications for East Asia

The normative aspect of liberal democracy in the process of security building and maintenance has enormous implications for states in East Asia. There is no doubt that the region has not been transformed into a security community. Both Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver – both known for a theoretical inclination toward realism – contend that “the end of the Cold War opened the way for an external transformation in the regional security architecture of East Asia.

From the 1980s economically, and during the 1990s also in a military-political sense, the states of Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia increasingly began to merge into a single RSC [regional security complex].” However, “[t]here seems little prospect that either East Asia, or Asia as a whole, will be able to form a security community in the foreseeable future.”

Why states in the region have not been transformed into a security community is a matter of debate. If a strong shared view of the status quo, a shared culture, and/or well-developed institutions are the key variables for building security communities, as Buzan and Wæver contend, we must ask whether liberal democracies are better at meeting these conditions. For instance, if the regional institutions in East Asia remain underdeveloped, it is mainly because they tend to rely on their non-liberal or Asian norms.

Constructivists have long made the case for the ‘ASEAN Way’ being different from the so-called ‘Western [liberal] Way’. The ‘ASEAN Way’ may contain some liberal norms, but it does not have its roots in a liberal democratic tradition. In fact, few states in East Asia are liberal democracies. The U.S.-Japan security alliance helps validate the liberal democratic peace thesis. Bilateral security relations between the United States and Japan suggest that their shared democratic norms matter a great deal. Both Barry Buzan and Gerald Segal also observed that “the Atlantic community and Japan have established an interdependent security community.” More specifically, the United States and Japan have now established themselves as “a security community.” As liberal democratic states, the United States and Japan have now learned to treat each other with more mutual respect for the principle of political and racial equality. Their leaders used to regard each other in racist terms. Until the end of World War II, Japanese Asianists saw the benefit to Japan of a racially justified regional hegemony, foresaw a coming race war, and saw Japan on a “great mission to purify world thought.” After World War I, Japan joined China in a call for a racial equality clause in the Treaty of Versailles, but U.S. President Woodrow Wilson ignored the plea.

In recent years, American leaders have affirmed the principle of such equality. But this bilateral community is unlikely to grow ‘tight’ as long as Japan continues to identify itself as an Asian nation with a weak commitment to liberal values. According to Kenneth Pyle, “Democracy is not an indigenous phenomenon that Japan has ever sought to export…it is not in their life’s blood. These were not values the Japanese themselves had struggled for and made their own.”

Counterfactual evidence further shows that non-democratic states are unlikely to turn their temporary military alliances into security communities. Evidence suggests that non-democratic (including socialist) states in East Asia have not long maintained military alliances, let alone security communities. The military alliances between socialist states in the region – most notably the Soviet Union, China, and Vietnam – did not outlast the Cold War. The socialist Russian-Vietnamese military alliance has long ceased to exist. Vietnam still behaves more or less according to balance-of-threat logic (against China) by moving closer to the United States rather than according to balance-of- power logic, which predicts that Vietnam would form a military alliance with China to balance the preponderance of U.S. power.

Democratic and non-democratic states may try to build a security community in East Asia, but their mutual ties can be easily restrained because levels of their mutual trust remain low. Both non-democratic China and democratic Taiwan still exhibit a kind of Hobbesian behavior. They have yet to resolve their sovereignty disputes. Beijing considers Taiwan a rebel province and has applied constant pressure for it to accept the ‘one-China’ principle. In 1996, Taiwan held a presidential election and China test-fired ballistic missiles over the Island. Christensen devotes his analytical attention to the Sino-Taiwanese enmity, which threatens to escalate into an interstate war. China is not a status-quo power: it does not accept a de facto territorial condition associated with Taiwan’s stance on its political independence.

Non-democratic North and democratic South Korea remain technically at war. The North possesses one of the five largest armed forces in the world. South Korea, although its armed forces are quantitatively inferior to the North (with 560,000 ground troops, about 190 naval vessels, and 490 combat aircraft), “has been devoting its efforts to modernizing its military equipment.”

Sino-Japanese-U.S. relations have not improved much, either. There have been incursions of Chinese surveillance ships into Japanese waters and signs of China’s reluctance to delineate their territorial waters. This shift of Japanese policy toward China came after China’s nuclear weapons tests, military threats against Taiwan, and shows of nationalism. After Chinese President Jiang Zemin’s disastrous visit to Tokyo in December 1998, the negative Japanese view of China was solidified: “In the space of only a few years, Japan’s fundamental thinking on China shifted from a faith in economic interdependence to a reluctant realism.” Beijing then refused to hold bilateral summits with Japanese leaders. Koizumi’s last visit to the Yasukuni War Shrine in October 2005 (his fifth since taking office in 2001) allowed Beijing to justify its refusal to hold a summit meeting with Tokyo. Japan’s then- Foreign Minister Taro Aso made a series of provocative statements (such as calling China “a military threat”) and accused Beijing of “using beautiful Chinese women as spies to lure Japanese diplomats into revealing classified information.”

According to Thomas Christensen, “Chinese analysts view Japan with much less trust and, in many cases, with a loathing rarely found in their attitudes about the United States.” Beijing reacted with alarm to the Japan-U.S. Guidelines (revised in 1997) and joint agreement to research the Theatre Missile Defense system (TMD). China still worries about Japan’s future militarization. The truth is that “China is not responding to the threat of regional American predominance as much as to its mistrust of Japan as a military power.” Still, China remains resentful of Western (especially U.S.) attempts to promote a “peaceful evolution” against Beijing, resistant to democratic values, and suspicious of long-term U.S. intentions.

Evidence from East Asia suggests that non-democratic states have militarily challenged powerful democracies, even with little expected benefits from war, but democratic states tend to show little tolerance toward non-democratic states’ belligerence. If the missile tests by North Korea provoked anger from other states in the region, it can be said that Washington was partly to blame. President Bush included North Korea in the ‘axis of evil’. One leading journalist observes that “Bush’s blustery refusal to negotiate led the Dear Leader [Kim Jong-il] to ramp up plutonium production, so today North Korea has enough plutonium for four to 13 nuclear weapons.”

After the missile tests by North Korea in 1998 and 2006, Japan (a democracy) began to modify its approach to security. As late as April 1988, Defense Agency chief Tsutomu Kawara still maintained a pacific attitude, saying that “possessing offensive weapons would exceed the limits of the minimum-required level of capability for self-defense and cannot be allowed under any circumstance…the Self-Defense Forces should not be allowed to possess intercontinental ballistic missiles, long-range strategic bombers or offensive aircraft carriers.”

In March 2003, however, then-Defense Agency Chief Shigeru Ishiba put it differently: “Unlike the past, ballistic missiles can now arrive in a matter of minutes, so we have to think about what we can do.” Less than three years later, following the 2006 North-Korean missile tests, Foreign Minister Taro Aso contended that, “When missiles are being targeted at Japan, we cannot just stand by and wait to get hit.” In July 2006, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe and Defense Agency Chief Fukushiro Nukaga considered the possibility of reinterpreting the Constitution to permit Japan’s preemptive strikes on North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

Hostility and tension between non-democratic and democratic states in ASEAN have also hindered them from building a security community. The group is no longer the “club of dictators” as it has often been labeled by its critics, but only two ASEAN states – Indonesia and the Philippines – can now be considered democracies. Thailand has not been a real democracy since the military coup in September 2006. Cambodia remains a poor candidate for consolidated democracy. Malaysia and Singapore are semi- authoritarian or electoral autocracies. Brunei remains an absolute monarchy. Burma is under the thumb of its military junta. Laos and Vietnam officially claim to uphold Marxism-Leninism. With Thailand (before the coup), the Philippines, and Indonesia becoming more democratic and a number of new antidemocratic or autocratic states joining ASEAN, the political rift between the two types of states apparently has widened. Their mutual distrust and rivalries still exist. The violent crackdowns on peaceful protesters by Myanmar’s junta leaders in September 2007 further complicated relations among states in ASEAN.

Since the early 1990s, the regional group has taken the lead in promoting regional cooperation, including the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), but neither ASEAN nor the ARF has proven effective as a regional institution. According to Kavi Chongkittavorn, “It is doubtful if ASEAN can realize its plan to establish the security community…by 2015 as planned.” The group established the High Council based on the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), which “is supposed to serve as a conflict settlement mechanism for Member Countries.

However, key ASEAN members such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore preferred to use the extra-judicial process – the International Court of Justice [in] The Hague…to settle their disputes.” The group has not established or strengthened any other mechanisms for peaceful conflict resolution among themselves. In his view, “the drafters of the ASEAN Charter have not yet agreed on what kind of dispute settlement mechanisms (DSM) ASEAN should adopt.”

The ASEAN Charter adopted in November 2007 by its members offered no real institutional breakthroughs. The negative impact of non-democratic norms on community building should not be underestimated. Experienced policymakers and journalists in the region seem to understand this challenge better than intellectual and diplomatic rhetoricians. Indonesia’s former foreign minister Ali Alatas, for instance, has acknowledged that the member states have not developed an “ASEAN mindset” because they think more nationally and less regionally. The national secretariats in the members’ foreign ministries remain more powerful than the ASEAN Secretariat.

The critical challenge for ASEAN lies in one critical fact – its member states’ “different political systems” – and this helps explain why they “never push for political convergence.”

Another challenge to security community building lies in East Asian states’ unwillingness or inability to accept each other fully as equals in political and racial terms. Within Southeast Asia, non-liberal democratic states such as Singapore and Malaysia have promoted racial homogeneity within their national borders. Malaysian leaders in particular have made efforts to build a community of Asians.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has relentlessly or consistently defended his vision to build a regional community whose members are made up of only Asians. In his words, “Australia and New Zealand cannot be regarded as Asians and cannot be members of the East Asian grouping.” At the 2005 inaugural East Asian Summit, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi further repeated this line of racialist thinking: “You are talking about a community of East Asians. I don’t know how the Australians could regard themselves as East Asians, or the New Zealanders, for that matter.”

Still, East Asians do not always regard themselves as one harmonious race, thus reflecting the region’s inadequate practice of liberal democratic norms. Racial and ethnic hatreds have contributed to instability in the region. In Southeast Asia, xenophobia remains. In an editorial, The Jakarta Post, for instance, contends that Indonesia “is becoming more and more xenophobic, if not paranoid towards foreigners…Neighbours will respect Indonesia only when we can prove we are able to play a leading role in improving security and prosperity in the region, while treating individual countries equally.” Some state leaders, such as those in Singapore and Malaysia, often perceive each other in racialist terms.

In Northeast Asia, xenophobia also remains strong. As of mid-2006, Prime Minister Koizumi’s cabinet contained several racial supremacists. According to Kenneth Pyle, “Japan remains inhospitable to foreign residents. They tend to be shunned, and because their status and position are unstable they tend to be ‘shut out of Japanese society and discriminated against’.”

The Japanese sense of racial superiority vis-à-vis Koreans has not healed the wounds inflicted on the latter by its colonial rule from 1910 to 1945. Alleged racialism within Japan (against over one million people of Chinese and Korean descent) remains “deep” and “profound” and often provokes anger from Koreans. Korean racialism also remains strong. Pyongyang has advocated Korean racial purity. South Koreans regard North Koreans as “long-lost brethren, objects of pity, sources of kitsch, or targets of ridicule – but rarely enemies” and prefer reconciliatory options. Japan, however, wanted tougher actions, including the possibility of preemptive strikes on North Korea, which infuriated Seoul.

In short, then, the absence of a security community in East Asia can be explained by the fact that most states in the region have not become maturely democratic. Non-democratic states in the region also tend to be revisionist, rather than pro-status quo. Moreover, most states have had difficulty applying the liberal norms of peaceful conflict resolution and equal treatment (in political and racial terms). Most importantly, they have not developed effective regional institutions. All these factors prove to be key hindrances to the process of security community building in East Asia. Both historical and normative/sociological institutionalisms helps explain institutional continuity in East Asia better than any other type of institutionalism because the regional institutions remain relatively unchanged.

The Virtue of Community Leadership: Implications for East Asia

Unless East Asia has a powerful democracy to lead other democratic states, the prospect for security community building and maintenance remains far from ideal. The crucial role of the United States as the democratic leader among democracies must not be overlooked. Democratic leadership defined in political, economic, and military terms has made a difference in the Japan- U.S. Security Community.

The contrast can be seen before and after World War II. Japanese militarism in the 1930s eroded newly acquired democratic norms and pushed Japan into World War II. The post-war U.S. occupation gave rise to what Ikenberry and Kupchan call “internal reconstruction,” helping turn Japanese militarism into pacifism and autocracy into democracy through military, political, and social reforms. Japan’s economic security depended on the United States and European states before WWII, but its economic dependence came to an end by the late 1930s and re-emerged after the War. Dale Copeland argues that, “Japan was almost totally dependent on trade with the U.S. and European powers: American for oil and iron ore; British Malaysia, French Indochina, and Dutch Indies for rubber, oil, tungsten, and other minerals.”

Japan decided to launch a surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 because it could no longer count on the United States for its economic survival. Japan had nothing to lose when the United States and other European states could no longer be depended upon, especially after the United States imposed a series of embargoes. During the Cold War period, Japan’s economic dependence on the United States deepened, thus making it vulnerable and highly resented, but it has never been severely interrupted. Japan’s economic dependence can be further explained by the end of the economic miracles it experienced up until the 1980s (especially after the bust in 1991) and the strange absence of a bilateral free-trade arrangement between two of the largest, most industrialized states in the world. Japan’s military dependence on the United States has since the Cold War period been deep, if still controversial, and thus largely conducive to their security community building and maintenance.

During the period leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor, non-democratic Japan’s military power had grown to the extent that it could pose a real challenge to the United States. The balance of power among the great powers at the time shifted in favor of Japan. “British and French forces were drawn home” as they engaged in the war against Hitler’s Germany in Europe and as “the U.S. fleet was divided between the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.”

In late 1940 and early 1941, Japan enjoyed “temporary military superiority” and its “leaders felt they had to attack soon, before economic decline progressed too far.” During the Cold War and after, however, Japan’s military dependence on the United States remains indispensable for its security. Tokyo continues to finance the U.S. military presence (over $4 billion per year) and pays annually an additional $1.5 billion on other security activities, such as its troops in Iraq in support of the U.S. forces.

This does not suggest that Japan’s reliance on the United States means that it always does what the United States would like. In 2006, Japan, for instance, decided to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Overall, however, Japan has been dependent on the United States for its security. Scholars like Dale Copeland recognize this. On the one hand, Copeland asserts that U.S. hegemony “has allowed Japan to flourish since 1945.” On the other hand, he predicts that “one can imagine the fears that would arise in Tokyo should the United States ever reduce its naval and military presence in the Far East.” He adds that, “Japan would be compelled to try to defend its raw material supply routes, setting off a spiral of hostility with regional great powers like China, India, Russia, and perhaps the United States itself.”

Thomas Berger further contends that material factors seem to matter far more significantly than history and culture alone. When faced with a powerful aggressor, he predicts, Japan would first seek to appease it, but would then look to the United States if this policy failed. In the back of the Japanese mind, however, the United States remains the final source of external assurance. Japanese anti-militarism is thus not a fait accomplit: it rests not on the absolute guarantee that it will never degenerate. That is, anti-militarism is likely to erode “if the United States allows the Cold War alliance structures to decay.” Tokyo would then be compelled to consider a dramatic expansion of its military capabilities, possibly including the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Japan-U.S. relations still rest on Japan’s military dependence. Japanese antimilitarism keeps Japanese ambiguous about American militarism, but they see the need for the United States to serve as the final guarantor of their national security. The Japanese remain “satisfied with the existing security arrangement, a combination of the American security guarantee and the Japanese self-defense force that is proscribed from going to battle outside of the Japanese territory.” Americans have over the years grown more comfortable with Japan as an ally and are even urging the latter to allocate more budgets for its own national defense. Less asymmetrical power relations may now make the two security allies more of partners, even though bilateral tensions may become more frequent or intense at times. The U.S.-Japan Security Community remains virtually unchanged and has even become stronger, despite structural changes at the international level (from Cold War bipolarity to post-Cold War unipolarity and possibly multipolarity in the future). Democratic norms shared by Japan (the lesser power) and the United States (the greater power) have made all the difference: they have stuck together in bad times by balancing the threats of powerful and weaker non-democratic states and in good times by successfully maintaining their bilateral ties. But racialism may have made the U.S.-Japan community less tight than that of U.S.-Australia.

The United States has no doubt served as a positive force for diffusing tensions between its two democratic Asian allies in Northeast Asia. By sending Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Christopher Hill crisscrossing the region in July 2006 (following the nuclear launches by North Korea), for instance, Washington helped defuse the growing tensions between them by emphasizing their need to speak with one voice.

Democratic leadership has helped prevent mutually hostile democracies as well as democratic and non-democratic states hostile to each other from going to war. The fact that territorial disputes between South Korea and Japan did not escalate into armed conflict may also have had to do with the United States being the democratic leader of these two Asian democracies. Powerful democracies may also have prevented democracies and autocracies from waging war against each other. The U.S. military presence in Northeast Asia has also done much to prevent autocratic China from launching offensive attacks on democratic Taiwan.

One reason why the United States may have proved unwilling to take the lead in building a multilateral security community in Pacific Asia may have something to do with its treatment of Asian nationals in culturally and racially different (if not inferior) terms, perhaps because they were not as liberal or democratic as other Western states. American decision-makers had developed superior attitudes toward Asians, if less so toward Japanese in recent years. Both Hemmer and Katzenstein explain why there is no NATO or a multilateral security community in Asia, arguing that American policymakers did not treat their Asian allies in equal terms (politically, culturally, or racially). “America’s potential Asian allies…were seen as part of an alien and, in important ways, inferior community.” European allies were identified by U.S. policymakers as trustworthy because of their shared religion, democratic values, and common race, as noted.

In contrast, the norms of cultural, religious, and racial inequalities identified by “condescending” U.S. policymakers led many of them not to regard “Asians as ready or sufficiently sophisticated to enjoy the trust and the same degree of power that the United States had offered to European states” or not to “take them very seriously” or even to “regard them as inferiors.” When still U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Acheson “visited Europe at least eleven times,” but claimed that that he was “too busy to make even a single visit to East Asia.” It remains unclear whether U.S. policymakers have changed their attitudes. Evidence does not provide much encouragement. Robert Gilpin noted that “despite the Clinton Administration’s rhetoric regarding the importance of APEC,” the U.S. president “thinks about Asia on the day before he is scheduled to visit the region.” The U.S. president continues to make the logistical excuse that he cannot make more than one annual trip to Asia. According to Ralph Cossa, this is a weak excuse. According to Kenneth Pyle, “Thus far, the Americans have remained on the sidelines and have not committed to a vision of multilateral institution-building that would enhance regional integration and serve Japan’s purposes.”

Evidence shows that non-democratic hegemons have never contributed to security community building in East Asia, either. The region has a long history of alternating between regional anarchy and hegemony. In ancient China, there were 3,790 recorded wars from the Western Zhou (c. 1100 BC) to the end of the Qing dynasty (1911). In the Ming period, the average number of external wars per year was 1.12. After having achieved unification during the Qin and Han dynasties, China became expansionist when the first emperor began to incorporate the “barbarians” of present- day southern China down to Guangzhou (Canton) and to the northern part of contemporary Vietnam. China occupied Korea (108 BC-AD 313) and Vietnam for about 1,000 years (from 111 BC to AD 939). The Chinese Empire, while maintaining regional stability for hundreds of years (1300-1900), did so by way of material and non-democratic cultural, racialist forces. According to Suisheng Zhao, sinocentrism and the Chinese world order were maintained for centuries by the strength of the Chinese civilization as well as by military force”, or “from China’s military strength in East Asia”, because “China was a ‘world empire’ without rivals” in the region for many centuries. Chinese racialism was evident throughout its history, as Chinese leaders characterized other races as ‘barbarian’ or inferior.

States under Chinese suzerainty did not unconditionally accept Chinese hegemony. Vietnam and Japan, for instance, sought to escape from the Chinese sphere of influence and even waged war to do so (such as Japan in 1895). Japan’s decision to enter the Western world was driven by the need to counter the China-centered tributary system, which was not always benign, not by the vision to westernize itself as such. Paying tribute to the Chinese emperor was seen by Japan as a sign of submission. Japan’s absorption of Western technology and its drive for modernization rested on the need to cope with Chinese influence. According to Takeshi Hamashita, “the course of Japan’s modernization has been studied as a process of overcoming its subordination to Western powers.” But “the main issues in Japanese modernization were how to cope with Chinese dominance over commercial relations in Asia” and “how to reorganize relations among Japan, China, Korea, and Liu-chi’iu (Ryukyu) in a way that put Japan at the center.”

China dominated East Asia until the late nineteenth century when Japan sought to dominate the region by force. Japan attempted to take Korea away from China in 1867 and dominated others by coercive means: by defeating China in 1895 and forcing it to hand Taiwan over to Japan, by defeating Russia in 1905, and by making Korea its protectorate in 1905 and colonizing it from 1910 to 1945. Having replaced China as the central power in East Asia, Japan subsequently attempted to create under its domination a Greater East-Asia Co-prosperity Sphere in the region. It invaded and brutally occupied Manchuria in the early 1930s and the rest of China as well as almost all of the states in Southeast Asia during World War II.

Japan will not jump on China’s bandwagon, as culturalists or commercial pacifists assert (where Asian states would follow China because of cultural affinities or commerce). Overall, most states in the region prefer the United States to China. From Tokyo to Jakarta, from Seoul to Singapore, and from Hanoi to Manila, state leaders have put more trust in the preponderance of U.S. power than the rise of non-democratic China. The thesis that the hierarchical regional order may become a modern version of the Sino-centric ‘tribute system’ overlooks the fact that a regional equilibrium remains based on the predominance of U.S. power.

But the alternative thesis that the hierarchical regional order rests on the relative benignity of U.S. power (due to its lack of territorial ambition in the region and its role as an honest broker) also has inadequate explanatory power: it ignores the fact that the United States has been a democracy and the only superpower after the Cold War. As noted, liberal democracies tend to be more status-quo-oriented than autocracies. If China were to become democratic, the problem of power transition would become more effectively mitigated. A democratic Chinese state would not, in all probability, disturb regional peace as much as it would if it were still undemocratic. While we have no concrete evidence to predict how a democratic Chinese state would behave and how other states would respond, we have better evidence to suggest that democratic leadership would seem more acceptable to democratic states than autocratic leadership.

Taiwan would not follow a Chinese autocracy and will continue to press ahead with democracy, largely in search of an international democratic guarantee against the perceived China threat. In September 2000, for instance, Chen Shui-bian declared boldly: “We don’t think unification is the only principle. There could be two or three or countless different conclusions. We see Taiwan as a democratic country, with the people in a position to decide.” Even if China were to become democratic, there would be no automatic guarantee that it would help build a multilateral security community, unless lesser states in the region also became democratic. Autocratic resistance to its leadership would remain stiff. Evidently the non-existence of a multilateral security community in Pacific Asia today has resulted from the fact that the United States has never been regarded as leader by non-democratic states. Most states in Pacific Asia remain undemocratic and find the United States potentially threatening.


The lingering weaknesses of domestic democratic institutions in East Asia have resulted in most of the hindrances to the process of security community building in the region. The evidence shows that non-democratic states – most notably North Korea and China – tend to be revisionist, rather than pro-status quo. Regional institutions (including military alliances) that non-democratic states have attempted to build tend to remain fragile, if not futile, unless underpinned by powerful strategic reasons. Democracies tend not to threaten war against autocratic states but tend to show hostilities toward them and escalate ongoing tensions with them.

Historical institutionalism helps explain institutional continuity in East Asia better than rational choice institutionalism, but democratic realist institutionalism further contends that the lack of institutional change has much to do with the fact that most states in the region do not embrace liberal democracy and its norms. As a result, they continue to maintain a spirit of mutual suspicion and do not regard the most powerful among them to be the leader.

The theory predicts that security community building remains possible, but only if at least two basic requirements – democratic norms shared by states and community leadership – are first met. Democratic realist institutionalism as a theory proposed in this study offers a perspective far more progressive than neo-classical realism regarding the subject of security community building. This type of realism takes an approach to security by drawing insights from Kantian liberalism, constructivism, and theories critical of racialism without at the same time completely sacrificing realism, which tends to converge on the importance of relative power.

The constructivist policy agenda of engagement through socialization can help, but is likely to have a limited impact on security community building. Constructivists argue in favor of the need to engage non-democratic states through deconstructing their realpolitik culture, but this prescription will have no real lasting effect on regional peace unless or until Russia, China, and North Korea become truly democratic. Within their orbit, democracies also tend to regard their leader as legitimate. The United States still has a leadership role to play. Because of its powerful reach when compared with other states, it should take effective action to build a multilateral community in Pacific Asia.

This study thus presents a difficult effort to draw various insights from theoretical eclecticism. By no means do I suggest that the concept of national security found in the wisdom of realism has now been relegated to the dustbin of history, but I strongly feel the need to suggest that we ‘soften’ it by learning to listen to critical voices without accepting everything at face value. A word of caution is necessary, though: just as we must not stretch any analytical concept too far so as to make it amorphous and meaningless, so also we must not carelessly combine insights from different theoretical perspectives to the extent that our arguments become unintelligible.

There are limits to eclecticism. If possible, clear theoretical statements should be made to allow us to test our insights against empirical evidence or evaluate our commitment to policy action on security community building. I thus propose democratic realist institutionalism as a theory based on the foundationalist ontology that there is a ‘reality out there’ to be explained and the realist epistemology that acknowledges causal factors rooted in deep normative and material structures, which constrain or enable decision- making. The theory calls for a more eclectic way of promoting regional security: It is based on the assumption that liberal democracy and material capabilities in the form of community leadership enable state actors to build security communities as a realistic policy agenda.


1. See, for instance, Sorpong Peou, “Regional Community Building for Better Global Governance,” in The United Nations System in the 21st Century, edited by Volker Rittberger (Tokyo: UN University Press, 2002); Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye also argue that “Japan became part of the U.S.-centered security community,” see Power and Interdependence, 3rd ed. (New York: Longman, 2001), p.240.

2. Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett (eds.), Security Communities (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

3. John Ruggie, Constructing the World Polity: Essays on International Institutionalization (London & New York: Routledge, 1998), pp.230-31.

4. K. J. Holsti, International Politics: A Framework for Analysis, 5th ed. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1987), p.439.

5. Ole Wæver, “Insecurity, Security, and Asecurity in the West European Non-war Community,” in Security Communities, edited by E. Adler and M. Barnett.

6. Thomas Risse-Kappen, “Collective Identity in a Democratic Community,” in The Culture of National Security, edited by Peter Katzenstein.

7. Michael N. Barnett, “Identity and Alliances in the Middle East,” in Security Communities.

8. Aaron L. Friedberg, “Ripe for Rivalry: Prospects for Peace in a Multipolar Asia,” International Security 18, no.3 (Winter, 1993/94), p.5.

9. Ibid., p.5.

10. Ibid., p.11.

11. Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

12. Ibid., p.280.

13. Inis L. Claude, Power and International Relations (New York: Random House, 1962), p.6.

14. Cited in Lynn H. Miller, “The Idea and the Reality of Collective Security,” in The Politics of Global Governance: International Organizations in an Interdependent World, edited by Paul F. Diehl (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1996), p.81.

15. Charles Kupchan and Clifford Kupchan “The Promise of Collective Security,” International Security 20, no.1 (Summer 1995), pp.52-61.

16. A. Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, p.295.

17. Ibid., p.299.

18. Ibid., p.299.

19. Karl Deutsch et al, Political Community and the North Atlantic Area: International Organization in the Light of Historical Experience (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957), p.6.

20. Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett, “A Framework for the study of security communities,” p.30.

21. Ibid., p.30.

22. Ole Wæver, “Insecurity, security, and asecurity in the West European non-war community,” in Security Communities, pp.69-118.

23. Christopher Hemmer and Peter Katzenstein, “Why is There No NATO in Asia? Collective Identity, Regionalism, and the Origins of Multilateralism,” International Organization 56, no.3 (Summer 2002), p.589, 599.

24. K. Waltz, “Structural Realism after the Cold War,” International Security 25, no.1 (Summer 2000), p.31; the German journalist Josef Joffe also wrote a book whose central theme might help validate Waltz’ realism. In his view, Europeans have a crisis of collective identity, but the nearest thing they can share is their “[collective] opposition to the United States [Uberpower] – to both its culture and its clout,” in The Imperial Temptation of America (W.W. Norton & Co., 2005?), cited in Roger Cohen, “The burden of unprecedented global power,” International Herald Tribune 15-16 July 2006, p.8.

25. See Kenneth Waltz, “Evaluating Theories,” American Political Science Review 91, no.4 (December 1997; Christopher Layne, “The Unipolar Illusion: Why New Great Powers Will Arise?” International Security 17, no.4 (Spring 1993): 5-51; Michael Mastanduno, “Preserving the Unipolar Moment: Realist Theories and U.S. Grand Strategy after the Cold War,” International Security 21, no.4 (Spring 1997): 44-98; Wohlforth only suggests that unipolarity “will last several more decades,” thus still implying that balance-of-power politics will return later. W. C. Wohlforth, “The Stability of a Unipolar World,” International Security 24, no.1 (Summer 1999), p.39.

26. Even Kant seemed doubtful if his pacific union of states would completely end their rivalries or balance-of-power politics. See Kenneth Waltz, “Kant, Liberalism, and War,” The American Political Science Review 56, no.2 (June 1962): 331-40, especially p.338.

27. Emanuel Adler, “Imagined (Security) Communities: Cognitive Regions in International Relations,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 26, no.2 (1997), p.255.

28. Sean M. Shore, “No fences make good neighbors: the development of the Canadian- US Security Community, 1871-1940,” in Security Communities, p.344.

29. Bellamy, A. and MacDonald, M., “The Utility of Human Security: Which Humans, What Security? A Reply to Thomas and Tow,” Security Dialogue, 33, no.3 (2002), p.376.

30. Sorpong Peou, Conflict Neutralization in the Cambodia War : From Battlefield to Ballot- Box, Kuala Lumpur, New York and Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1997), p.304.

31. William Tow and Russell Trood, “Linkages between traditional security and human security,” in Asia’s Emerging Regional Order (New York, Paris and Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2000), p.28.

32. See, for instance, Robert O. Keohane, International Institutions and State Power (Boulder, San Francisco and London: Westview Press, 1989).

33. Realism is based an epistemology assuming that there is an object reality out there and that we can offer causal explanation. See David Marsh and Paul Furlong, “A Skin not a Sweater: Ontology and Epistemology in Political Science,” in Theory and Methods in Political Science, 2nd ed. 2nd ed., edited by David Marsh and Gerry Stoker (New York and Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), p.30-32, 37, 38, 39; David Marsh, “Marxism,” in Theor y and Methods in Political Science, p.159, 160.

34. Vivien Lowndes, “Institutionalism,” in Theory and Methods in Political Science, , p.101, 105.

35. Mark Blyth, “Institutions and Ideas,” in Theory and Methods in Political Science, p.305.

36. Ibid, p.293.

37. J. March and L. Olsen, Rediscovering Institutions (New York: Free Press, 1984) & their “The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life,” American Political Science Review 78 (1989): 734-49. 38. Hampson et al., Madness in the Multitude: Human Security and World Order (Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press, 2002), Chapter 5.

39. See, for instance, Keith Krause, “Multilateral Diplomacy, Norm Building, and UN Conferences: The Case of Small Arms and Light Weapons,” Global Governance 8, no.2 (2002): 247-63.

40. Edward Laurance et al., “Managing the Global Problems Created by the Conventional Arms Trade: An Assessment of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms,” Global Governance 11, no.2 (Apr.-June 2005), p.236.

41. See, for instance, Philippe C. Schmitter and Terry Lynn Karl, “What Democracy Is…and Is Not,” in The Global Resurgence of Democracy, edited by Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), especially p.49.

42. Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, p.297.

43. Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security, p.173. 44. Michael N. Barnett, “Identity and Alliances in the Middle East,” p.401.

45. Ibid., p.423.

46. David L. Rousseau et al., “Assessing the Dyadic Nature of the Democratic Peace, 1918-1988,” American Political Science Review 90 (1996): 512-33.

47. Bruce Russett, Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993), p.11, 30-31; Erich Weede, “Some Simple Calculations on Democracy and War Involvement,” Journal of Peace Research 29, no.4 (November 1992): 377-83; Michael Doyle, “Liberalism and World Politics,” American Political Science Review 80, no.4 (December 1986): 1151-69.

48. Democracies are not “unconditionally constrained from initiating military hostilities against others”. William Dixon, “Democracy and the Peaceful Settlement of International Conflict,” American Political Science Review 88 (March 1994), p.18 (14-32).

49. David L. Rousseau et al., “Assessing the Dyadic Nature of the Democratic Peace, 1918-1988”; Lemke and Reed (1996); Arie M. Kacowicz, “Explaining Zones of Peace: Democracies as Satisfied Powers?” Journal of Peace Research 32 (1995): 265-76; Mark R. Brawley, “Regime Types, Markets, and War: The Importance of Pervasive Rents in Foreign Policy,” Comparative Political Studies 36 (1993): 178-97.

50. Paul K. Huth and Todd L. Allee, The Democratic Peace and Territorial Conflict in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

51. For the works of proponents of the democratic peace thesis, see the following: Zeev Maoz and Bruce Russett, Alliance, Contiguity, Wealth, and Political Stability: Is the lack of conflict among democracies a statistical artifact? International Interactions 17 (1992): 245-67; Zeev Maoz and Nasrin Abdolali, “Regime Type and International Conflict,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 33 (1989): 3-35; Michael Doyle, “Liberalism and World Politics,” American Political Science Review 80 (1986): 1151-69; Steve Chan, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…Are Freer Countries More Pacific?” Journal of Conflict Resolution 28 (1984): 617-48; Rudolph Rummel, “Libertarianism and International Violence,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 27 (1983): 27-71; Melvin Small and J. David Singer, “The War-proneness of Democratic Regimes,” Jerusalem Journal of International Relations 1 (1976): 50-69; some democracies almost went to war, but they did not. See Christopher Layne, “Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace,” International Security 19, no.2 (Fall, 1994): 5-49.

52. Thomas Risse-Kappen, “Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO,” in The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, p.373; see also his Cooperation Among Democracies: The European Influence on US Foreign Policy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995).

53. William Dixon, “Democracy and the Peaceful Settlement of International Conflict”; Mao Zeev and Bruce Russett, “Normative and Structural Causes of the Democratic Peace, 1946-1986,” American Political Science Review 87 (September 1993): 624-38; Gregory Raymond, “Democracies, Disputes, and Third-Party Intermediaries,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 38 (March 1994): 24-42.

54. David L. Rousseau et al., “Assessing the Dyadic Nature of the Democratic Peace, 1918-1988,” p.527.

55. K. J. Holsti, International Politics: A Framework for Analysis, p.437.

56. William Dixon, “Democracy and the Peaceful Settlement of International Conflict,” p.16.

57. Gregory Raymond, “Democracies, Disputes, and Third-Party Intermediaries,” p.24.

58. Sean M. Shore, “No fences make good neighbors: the development of the Canadian- US Security Community, 1871-1940,” p.349.

59. E. H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919-1939, 2nd ed. (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan Press and Papermac, 1946), p.164 (italics added).

60. Ibid., p.164.

61. Ibid., p.49.

62. Michael Mann, “Authoritarianism and liberal militarism: a contribution from comparative and historical sociology,” in International Theory: positivism and beyond, edited by Steve Smith et al. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p.235.

63. Anne Hammerstand, “Democratic Threats, Regional Institutions? The challenge of security integration in Southern Africa?,” Review of International Studies, 31, no.1 (2005), p.76 (italics original).

64. Sandra Whitworth, “Militarized Masculinities and the Politics of Peacekeeping,” in Critical Security Studies and World Politics, edited by Ken Booth (Boulder, CO: Lynn Rienner, 2005).

65. Christopher Hemmer and Peter Katzenstein, “Why is There No NATO in Asia?” Why is There No NATO in Asia? Collective Identity, Regionalism, and the Origins of Multilateralism,” International Organization 56, no.3 (Summer, 2002), p.575. 66. Cited in Ibid., p.593.

67. Anne-Marie Slaughter, “International Law and International Relations Theory: A Dual Agenda,” American Journal of International Law 87 (1993):205-39 and “International Law in a World of Liberal States,” European Journal of International Law 6 (1995): 503-538.

68. Kurt T. Gaubatz, “Democratic States and Commitment to International Relations,” International Organization 50 (1996): 109-39.

69. Bruce Russett, “Why the Democratic Peace?” in Debating the Democratic Peace, p.85.

70. Ibid., p.92, 113.

71. Thomas Risse-Kappen, “Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO,” p.369.

72. John Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraints, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001).

73. Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, p.365.

74. Emanuel Adler & Michael Barnett, “A Framework for the Study of Security Communities,” in Security Communities, p.40.

75. Ibid., p.52 (Italics added).

76. Martha Finnemore, National Interests in International Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), p.30.

77. S. Walt, “International Relations: One World, Many Theories,” Foreign Policy (Spring 1998), p.43.

78. Ibid., p.385.

79. W. C. Wohlforth, “The Stability of a Unipolar World,” p.34.

80. Ibid., p.35.

81. Ibid., p.18.

82. According to realists, history shows that power transition among great powers appears to be dangerously prone to war. Robert Gilpin, for instance, observes that, “…there do not appear to be any examples of a dominant power willingly conceding dominance over an international system to a rising power in order to avoid war. Nor are there examples of rising powers that have failed to press their advantage and have refrained from attempts to restructure the system to accommodate their security and economic interests”. R. Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p.209; however, Gilpin makes a subtle but profound remark about the difference between the United States, viewed as “tolerant” and “un-oppressive” and Germany. Great powers that operate on the basis of “shared values and interests” account for peaceful change. Ibid., p.209 .

83. Randall L. Schweller, “Democratic Structure and Preventive War: Are Democracies More Pacific?” World Politics 44 (1992), p.238.

84. Ibid., p.251.

85. Barry Buzan, “Is international security possible?”, p.36.

86. R. Schweller, “Democratic Structure and Preventive War: Are Democracies More Pacific?” p.269.

87. See W. C. Wohlforth , “The Stability of a Unipolar World,” p.35.

88. Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security, p.144.

89. Ibid., p.173.

90. See, for instance, Amitav Acharya, Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia (London and New York: Routledge, 2001).

91. Barry Buzan and Gerald Segal, “Rethinking East Asian Security,” in Michael T. Klare & Yogesh Chandrani, World Security: Challenges for a New Century, 3rd ed. (New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), p.109.

92. Henry Nau and Richard Leone, At Home Abroad: Identity and Power in American Foreign Policy, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002), p.153.

93. Richard J. Samuels, Securing Japan (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 2007), p.20.

94. Ibid., p.186.

95. Kenneth B. Pyle, Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese and Pur pose (New York: PublicAffairs, 2007), p.351.

96. Reports in recent years seem to suggest that Russia has become increasingly autocratic and moved closer to China. Some even suggest the possibility of a Sino-Russian alliance (recently the two powers conducted their first-ever joint military exercise). But no formal alliance between them exists.

97. “As a result, Chinese citizens have been fed a steady diet of patriotic, anti-Japanese media programming designed to glorify the CPP’s role in World War II”. Thomas J. Christensen, “China, the U.S.-Japan Alliance, and the Security Dilemma in East Asia,” International Security 23, no.4 (Spring 1999), p.54; Thomas Christensen, “China, the US-Japan Alliance, and the Security Dilemma,” in International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific, p.28.

98. National Institute for Defense Studies, Eastern Asian Strategic Review, 1998-1999, p.88.

99. Michael J. Green, Japan’s Reluctant Realism: Foreign Policy Challenges in an Era of Uncertain Power (New York: Palgrave, 2001), p.78.

100. The Straits Times, 10 June 2006, p.10.

101. Thomas Christensen, “China, the US-Japan Alliance, and the Security Dilemma,” p.27; on historical legacies, see pp.27-29; he also notes that, “The most common belief in Beijing security circles is that, by reassuring Japan and providing for Japanese security on the cheap, the United States fosters a political climate in which the Japanese public remains opposed to military buildups and the more hawkish elements of the Japanese elites are kept at bay.” p.31.

102. Thomas J. Christensen draws our attention to this problem in the following remarks: “According to security dilemma theory, defensive systems and missions, such as TMD, should not provoke arms races and spirals of tension. In contemporary East Asia, however, this logic is less applicable. Many in the region, particularly in Beijing, fear that new defensive roles for Japan could break important norms of self-restraint, leading to more comprehensive Japanese military buildups later. See S. J. Christensen, “China, the US-Japan Alliance, and the Security Dilemma in East Asia,” International Security 18, no.3 (Winter, 1993/94), p.51. “Most Chinese analysts fear almost any change in the US-Japan alliance,” Ibid., p.58.

103. Paul Midford, “Asian Reactions to the New US-Japan Guidelines,” (Unpublished manuscript), p.21.

104. Li Ma, “China and Vietnam” Coping with Threat of Peaceful Evolution,” pp.44-45 & 55.

105. Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor in 1941; see Scott D. Sagan, “The Origins of the Pacific War,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18 (Spring 1988).

106. Nicholas D. Kristof, “Dear Leader’s boiling cauldron,” International Herald Tribune, 12 July 2005, p.7.

107. The Asahi Shimbun, 12 July 2006, p.21.

108. Ibid., p.21.

109. Ibid., p.21.

110. Ibid., p.21.

111. As one senior ASEAN official put it: “We have democracies, full and partial; we have absolute monarchies; we have communist dictatorships; we have military dictatorships. With that diversity, if you start advocating interference you are going to break up the group,” Asiaweek, 6 August 1999, p.18; ASEAN also remains divided over Burma’s repressive actions against opposition groups. Thailand has taken other liberal initiatives — insistence on incorporating the term ‘civil society’ into the ‘ASEAN Vision 2020,’ on creating an ASEAN Human Rights Commission and an ASEAN parliamentary body — none of which has come to fruition.

112. Kavi Chongkittavorn, “ASEAN Security Community: In Need of a Common Policy,” AsiaViews (July-August, 2007), p.9.

113. Interview with Ali Alatas, AsiaViews (July-August 2007), p.15.

114. Mahathir Mohamad, “Let Asians build their own future regionalism,” GlobalAsia1, no.1 (September 2006), p.14.

115. Cited in Ralph Cossa, “East Asia Community-Building: Time for the United States to Get on Board,” Policy Analysis Brief (Muscatine, Iowa: The Stanley Foundation, September 2007), p.5.

116. Thomas Berger, “Set for Stability? Prospects for Conflict and Cooperation in East Asia,” Review of International Studies, 26 (Spring 2000).

117. Reprinted in The Straits Times, 26 May 2007, p.S16. 118. One of them is the current Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who, when still Minister of Interior and Communications, proclaimed Japan as “one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture, and one race, the like of which there is no other on this earth” (Cited in Christopher Reed, “The Persistence of Racism: The Ghosts of Japan’s Past,” Counter punch (14 November 2005); Aso remains a devotee to the Yasukuni and has supported Koizumi’s visits to the Shrine. According to Reed, “Aso’s open advocacy of the mythical racist superiority theory that propelled Japan’s 1931-45 military hostilities”. Like Koizumi, he also disregarded other Asians’ feelings. In August 2005, he showed his arrogance by stating that, “Whatever China and South Korea say, we should behave as if nothing happened [at Yakusuni shrine]. The most ideal way of resolving the Yasukuni dispute is that it works out peacefully after they realize that it is useless for them to complain any more,” Ibid.; another racialist member of the Koizumi cabinet is its Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, a hawkish on Asian diplomacy who has sought to minimize the ‘comfort women’ scandal involving an estimated 200,000 Asian women forced into sex slavery for Japanese Imperial Army soldiers during the 14-year Japanese conquest of Asian countries up until the end of WWII. While Japan has never fully accepted responsibility for this form of slavery, its leadership has put on its top agenda the North Korean abduction of at least 13 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s and even refused to hander over former President Alberto Fujimori of Peru to the new government in Lima, primarily because Tokyo regarded him as a Japanese citizen with a Japanese name, despite the fact that he was born in Peru, educated in Peru and the West, and hardly speaks Japanese.

119. Kenneth B. Pyle, Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese and Purpose, p.361.

120. A UN report filed in January 2006 by Special Envoy Doudou Diene condemned Japan for its failure to accommodate the needs of descendents of its former colonial subjects from Asia, most notably Chinese and Koreans, and for its lack of political will to combat racism. David McNeill, “The Diene Report on Discrimination and Racism in Japan,” (§ionID=1, accessed on 21 July 2006).

121. Korean leaders view Japanese colonialism in racialist terms. At the World Conference against Racism in South Africa in 2001, North Korea’s Head of Delegation spoke against Japanese racialism: “Korean people suffered with extreme national discrimination under the Japanese military occupation. The policies of Japanization of the Korean names and Oneness of Japan and Korea, under which all Koreans were forced to change their names in Japanese and to speak and write only in Japanese, were the most evil policy to eradicate one nation which cannot be found anywhere else in the world history of colonialism” See his statement at ( 122. “Launchings put Japan and South Korea on different paths,” International Herald Tribune, 12 July 2006, p.3. 123. On 11 July 2006, a spokesperson of President Roh Moo Hyun responded in anger, assailing Tokyo in the following words, “We will strongly react to arrogance and senseless remarks of Japanese political leaders who intend to amplify a crisis on the Korean peninsula with dangerous and provocative rhetoric such as ‘pre-emptive strikes…[which] exposed Japan’s tendency to invade”. “Seoul assails Tokyo on pre-emption,” International Herald Tribune, 12 July 2006, p.3.

124. G. John Ikenberry and Charles A. Kupchan, “Socialization and Hegemonic Power,” pp.304.

125. Dale Copeland, “Economic Interdependence and the Future of U.S.-Chinese Relations,” in International Relations Theory & the Asia-Pacific, edited by G. John Ikenberry and Michael Mastanduno (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), p.329.

126. Ibid., p.331.

127. Ibid., p.332.

128. Dale Copeland, “Economic Interdependence and War: A Theory of Trade Expectations,” in Theories of War and Peace, edited by Michael E. Brown et al. (Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 1998), p.499.

129. Thomas Berger, Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), p.210.

130. Hikari Agakimi, “’We the Japanese People’ – A Reflection on Public Opinion,” p.3.

131. John Baker and Douglas H. Paal correctly characterize the U.S.-Australia alliance as “America’s most intimate partnership in Asia” and observe that, “No other alliance relationship in the Asia-Pacific region even comes close to the nature of the U.S.-Australia alliance”; “shared concerns about democracy and free enterprise,” “common bonds,” “common values,” “shared interests” and “a very special intelligence partnership” are cited as the reasons for this tight alliance relationship; see their “The U.S.-Australia Alliance,” in America’s Asian Allies, p.88, 118; they even add that, “At present the top three U.S. foreign policy offices, those of secretary of state, secretary of defense, and national security advisor, are occupied by individuals with comparatively little exposure to the Asia-Pacific,” p.101.

132. Evidently Washington was able to help reduce the tension between Japan and South Korea and to get them to go along with its strategy. Both Tokyo and Seoul subsequently accepted the UN Security Council’s Resolution and urged Pyongyang to abide by it. The resolution did not satisfy Tokyo’s earlier proposal, which demanded that a UN resolution make reference to Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which would pave the way for Japan to impose economic sanctions on North Korea and possibly to take military action against the latter. Tokyo eventually acquiesced to the U.S. refusal to support its resolution. As one senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official put it, “When Washington says so, we can’t help but go along,” cited in The Ashi Shimbun, 17 July 2006, p.19.

133. When Greece and Turkey, two of NATO’s democratic members, plunged into a crisis in 1996 and were nearly on the brink of war, U.S. President Bill Clinton had to remind them that they were democratic members of the multilateral alliance.

134. According to Eric T. L. Love, race is and will remain a vital part of the story of American imperialism. See his Race over Empire: Racism and U.S. Imperialism, 1865-1900 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

135. Christopher Hemmer and Peter J. Katzenstein, “Why is There No NATO in Asia?” p.575.

136. Ibid., p.588.

137. Ibid., p.597, 598.

138. Ibid., p.597.

139. Robert Gilpin, The Challenge of Global Capitalism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), p.291; U.S. reluctance to defend East Asia and institution building remains evident throughout its history of engagement in the region; the United States did not defend Asia by making “the biggest nonintervention decision of the entire Cold War – in Asia”. In 1949, Washington “decided to accept the communist victory in China” because “the priority was now decidedly Europe first,” Philip Zelikow, “American Engagement in Asia,” in America’s Asian Allies, p.23; Washington decided then “not to defend Taiwan, South Korea, or Indochina with U.S. forces” and despite positive changes of policy that renewed its commitments to Asia after the Korean invasion in 1950, “the United States never built up political, economic, or military institutions in Asia of a strength and durability comparable to those created in Europe,” Ibid., p.24 (italics original).

140. Ralph Cossa, “East Asia Community-Building: Time for the United States to Get on Board,” Policy Analysis Brief (Muscatine, IA: The Stanley Foundation, September 2002), p.1.

141. Kenneth B. Pyle, Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese and Purpose, p.369.

142. Barry Gills, “The Hegemonic Transition in East Asia: A Historical Perspective,” in Gramsci, Historical Materialism and International Relations, edited by Stephen Gill (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

143. Alastair I. Johonston, Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p.27; seen in this context, it is empirically useless to question whether hierarchy in East Asia could exist, as shown by David Kang, “Hierarchy, Balancing, and Empirical Puzzles in Asian International Relations,” in International Relations Theory & the Asia-Pacific, p.169; the question should be: if hierarchy could exist, would it last or would it be replaced by anarchy derived from states’ balancing behavior?

144. Suisheng Zhao, Power Competition in East Asia: From the Old Chinese World Order to Post-Cold War Multipolarity (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), p.19, 23.

145. A study of Ming China’s strategic culture (1368-1644), for instance, shows that Chinese elites regarded the Mongols as racially inferior, calling them “dogs and sheep,” “not of our race,” who “should be “rejected as animals”. See Alastair I. Johnston, Cultural Realism, p.187, 188, 189, 230, 247, and 250.

146. David Kang argues that they did. He cited David Marr, “’This reality [China’s overwhelming size], together with sincere cultural admiration, led Vietnam’s rulers to accept the tributary system”; Japan leaders, such as “’The Tokugawa rulers tacitly acknowledged Chinese supremacy and cultural leadership in the Eats Asian world,” see David Kang, “Hierarchy, Balancing, and Empirical Puzzles in Asian International Relations,” p.174-75; but then he provides evidence suggesting that Japan did seek to balance Chinese power when the latter weakened: “Centuries later, as the Ming dynasty began to weaken, the Japanese general Hideyoshi twice attempted to invade China through Korea (in 1592 and 1598). Did cultural admiration or leadership draw other Asian states to bandwagon with China for good?

147. The Sino-centric tributary system was of a mercantilist nature. Tributary states had resisted Chinese hegemony, long before the Opium War, and subsequently adopted Westphalian international principles and methods and turned them against China. Takeshi Hamashita, “The Intra-regional System in East Asia,” in Network Power : Japan and Asia, edited by Peter Katzenstein and Takashi Shiraishi (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997), p.117.

148. Ibid., p.129.

149. Ibid., p.128.

150. See Michael Green, Japan’s Reluctant Realism (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002).

151. International Herald Tribune, 2-3 September 2000, p.1; more recently, he still viewed China as a growing threat to Taiwanese democracy, International Herald Tribune, 21 July 2006, p.3.

152. Rose Gideon, “Neo-classical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy,” World Politics 51 (October 1998): 144-72.

153. Alastair Iain Johnston, “Socialization in International Institutions: The ASEAN Way in International Relations Theory,” in International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific & Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese Histor y; for a critique of this perspective, see Hongying Wang, “Multilateralism in Chinese Foreign Policy: The Limits of Socialization,” Asian Survey 15, no.3 (May-June 2000): 475-91.

154. James Johnson, “How Conceptual Problems Migrate: Rational Choice, Interpretation and the Hazards of Pluralism,” Annual Review of Political Science 5 (2002): 223-48.


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