In Search of a New Order in East Asia

In Search of a New Order in East Asia

In Search of a New Order in East Asia

In Search of a New Order in East Asia


Chong-Sik Lee

The changes Mikhail Gorbachev ushered into the world since he came into power in 1985 have been truly astonishing. The cold war has ended, the Communist bloc dissolved itself, and Germany united. The Soviet Union has been undergoing drastic transformations, and as this volume goes to press, President Gorbachev is attempting to redefine the nature of the relationship between Moscow and the various republics within the Soviet Union.

These changes were very poignant for those who participated in the Santa Barbara conference (In Search of a New Order in East Asia) in March 1990 particularly because they could look back to many similar occasions when the atmosphere and the topics of discussion were vastly different: they had to deal primarily with causes of and solutions to mounting conflicts. Now the scholars were called upon to look toward a future in which East-West tension has been minimized. There was no doubt that we were entering a new era in history.

The changes, of course, were not confined to formerly socialist countries or to international relations between Communist and non-Communist countries. Some of the countries that had been outside the Communist bloc also experienced political changes of great significance in part because of the thaw in international relations but also as a result of ongoing socioeconomic transformations. And, as the people in different countries became increasingly more assertive, politics in each country and the relationships among countries became more complicated. The complexity was compounded by the intensified economic, social, and political interaction among nations.

It was important, therefore, for scholars of various countries to identify the nature of the changes taking place, to assess the current situation, and to forecast the future. It was considered essential also that scholars of various countries exchange their ideas.

As the title of the conference suggests, the Santa Barbara conference was devoted to East Asia, particularly the Northeast Asia region. Selected scholars . . .

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