An analysis of the role of the great powers towards the possibility of forming a security regime in northeast Asia : with particular reference to the theory of Robert Jervis
The objective of this study was to find out if Northeast Asia has the potential to form a security regime according to the conditions set out in Robert Jervis' theory, which are that (1) great powers must want to establish a regime; (2) the actors must also believe that others share the value they place an mutual security and co-operation; (3) regimes cannot form if one or more actors believe that security is best provided for by expansion; and (4) war or the individualistic pursuit of security must be regarded by all potential regime participants as more costly than collaboration. The other objective was to review theories that have been extensively applied to this study, and thus find an appropriate approach towards a Northeast Asian security arrangement. It has been concluded that the co-operative security concept is most applicable to Northeast Asia. Firstly, because of the rudimentary assumption that bilateral agreements become enormously problematic and susceptible to collective security politics, the idea of co-operative security becomes more applicable to Northeast Asia, as Northeast Asian countries not only prefer to maintain bilateral relationships, but also bear the current alliance of other parties. Secondly, compared to Europe, where the outside threat of the Soviet Union was needed to form a collective defence system, the cooperative security idea is more appropriate in Northeast Asia where the characteristics and source of dormant security threats differ widely. Thirdly, assuming that the present trend of economic co-operation is inextricably connected with one of the principles of co-operative security, co-operative security has become more applicable to Northeast Asia. Lastly, due to the increasing number of NGOs in Northeast Asia, the co-operative security idea is applicable to Northeast Asia. The conclusions of an analysis of the role of the great powers towards the possibility of forming a security regime in Northeast Asia with particular reference to the theory of Robert Jervis are as follows. Firstly, while the strong support of Japan and Russia to form a security arrangement in Northeast Asia is a facilitating factor, the lukewarm stance of America and China towards the idea is the most significant constraining factor. It could also be said that the lukewarm support of China and the USA is due to the lack of confidence between the US, afraid of the possible emergence of substitute regional hegemony, and China worrying about the U.S. and Japan's allied influence in a security regime. Thus confidence building between the U.S. and China is one of the key factors needed to form a security regime in the region.