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This book provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of a key concept in East Asian security debates, sovereign autonomy, and how it reproduces hierarchy in the regional order. Park argues that contemporary strategic debates in East Asia are based on shared contextual knowledge - that of international hierarchy - reconstructed in the late-nineteenth century. The mechanism that reproduces this lens of hierarchy is domestic legitimacy politics in which embattled political leaders contest the meaning of sovereign autonomy. Park argues that the idea of status seeking has remained embedded in the concept of sovereign autonomy and endures through distinct and alternative security frames that continue to inform contemporary strategic debates in East Asia. This book makes a significant contribution to debates in international relations theory and security studies about autonomy and status, as well as to the now extensive literature on the nature of East Asian regional order.Read more
- Debunks the myth that East Asia has historically and culturally been primed for acceptance of hegemony or unequal power relations
- Presents an innovative approach to discourse analysis and the role of language in domestic and international politics
- Appeals to an interdisciplinary audience interested in global transformations in the nineteenth century, comparative accounts of Westernization/modernization, and the politics of historical memory
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- Publication planned for: July 2019
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781316633533
- dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
- availability: Not yet published - available from
Table of Contents
Introduction. Sovereignty as status: hierarchy and East Asian international relations
1. How hierarchy endures
2. Hierarchy and regional order in premodern East Asia
3. The emergence of sovereign autonomy as a modern security concept
4. Enduring hierarchy in postwar East Asia
5. Competing frames of autonomy and domestic legitimacy politics in Japan and South Korea during the Cold War
6. Contesting autonomy and alliance in post-Cold War East Asia
7. Which historical legacies matter in East Asian international relations?
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