Prospects for Security and Cooperation in East Asia
By (author) Mel Gurtov
Publication date:20 December 2001
Length of book:240 pages
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
Most studies of Asia-Pacific security are marked by pessimism and continuing belief in the virtues of a balance of power. Pacific Asia? goes against the grain by pointing to a number of positive developments—especially economic—in regional relationships, the absence of an arms race, the growth of multilateral groups, and an emerging consensus on the importance of nonmilitary paths to national security. Above all, Mel Gurtov stresses a definition of security that focuses on basic human needs, social justice, and environmental protection. The author disagrees with proponents of a China threat, criticizes U.S. Cold War notions of security through forward-based power, and argues for new efforts at regional dialogue based on multilateral cooperation, sensitivity to Asian nationalism, and a role for Japan as a "global civilian power."
Within the context of a burgeoning literature on Asian security, this book is wise, welcome, and timely. It suggests a range of preventive policies that are workable, globally humanist, and culturally appropriate.