Professor Jong Kun Choi of Yonsei University (South Korea) has published a new article in the Review of International Studies on the prospects of a liberal transition in Northeast Asia.
Is the relatively long peace of Northeast Asia a result of crisis stability or general stability? The article introduces two stability concepts – crisis and general stability. Crisis stability occurs when both sides in military crisis are so secure due to its military capability and are able to wait out a surprise attack fully confident that it would be able to respond with a punishing counter attack. On the other hand, general stability prevails when two powers greatly prefer peace even to a victorious war whether crisis stability exists or not, simply because war has become inconceivable as a means of solving any political disagreements and conflicts. While crisis stability entails delicate balance of military power from the deterrence literature of security studies, general stability bases its logic of inquiry on constructivism where the idea of war aversion – categorically rejecting war as a means to end conflicts – becomes the prevailing norm. Therefore, this article empirically examines how Northeast Asia has sustained its peace through crisis stability and presents a new trend toward general stability.