Navigating a Sea of Troubles
US Alliances and Maritime Disputes in East Asia
This essay provides a brief overview of the development of the principal maritime disputes in East Asia. Next, the three major theoretical approaches in contemporary IR theory — Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism — are applied in turn to explain the sources of the tensions and the ways in which they may influence alliance relations. In conclusion, some tentative thoughts are offered on the ways in which the United States and its partners may wish to move forward on the issue.
© 2012 East Asia Institute (EAI)
Thomas U Berger