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Institutionalizing Northeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities

Timmermann, Martina (2008): Institutionalizing Northeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities. Published in: Institutionalizing northeast Asia: regional steps towards global governance (31 October 2008): pp. 1-18.

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With North Korea going nuclear, tensions ever present in the Taiwan Strait, and growing posturing over territories thought to be rich in resources, the question of how lasting peace, order, stability and prosperity can be achieved in Northeast Asia has become increasingly important. Globalisation and China’s galloping economy have caused radically different economic growth rates in Northeast Asia, resulting in constant fluctuations in the balance of power among the nations in the region. With new emerging threats to security as well as threats posed by environmental degradation and disasters, the old concept of sovereign independence no longer offers satisfactory solutions for Northeast Asia.

Instead, alternatives are needed that provide more plausible answers to Northeast Asia’s emerging challenges. In so doing, Institutionalizing Northeast Asia advances the notion of regional institutionalism as a counterweight to the principle of sovereignty, arguing that regional cooperation via regional institution-building is the right “recipe” for dealing with the growing intertwinement of global issues and developments with needs and interest at the regional and national levels, as well as the demand for supra-territorial policy responses to such issues as trade, finance, the environment, human rights and human security.

The copyright of this article which is the introductory chapter of the book: Institutionalizing Northeast Asia: Regional Steps towards Global Governance, Tokyo: UNUP 2008, rests with United Nations University Press; for further information on the book and its 19 chapters on political economy, security, norms and identity, environment, human rights, migration and human security in Northeast Asia, go to: http://www.unu.edu/unupress2008/institutionalizingNEAsia.html

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