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MacArthur Asia Security Initiative

Chaesung Chun
In 2009, the MacArthur Foundation established the Asia Security Initiative (ASI) network of 27 institutions from around the world in an effort to increase the effectiveness of international cooperation and foster peace and security in Asia.

The EAI was selected as one of the three ASI core institutions. For the next three years, under the theme of “Northeast Asian Security Challenge,” the EAI will conduct research on how the three megatrends of globalization, democratization, and IT revolution are transforming the security relations of Northeast Asia.


In this effort, the EAI has formed a “Northeast Asian Security Research Cluster” with six partner institutions (Ilmin International Relations Institute of Korea University, College of Social Sciences of Seoul National University, Tsinghua University of China, Shanghai Jiaotong University of China, and the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics of the U.S.). The EAI, in playing a leading role, will organize and facilitate research collaborations among the partner institutions in the cluster.

In utilizing its leading research capacity, the EAI intends to strengthen nongovernmental collaboration in East Asia and intensify the East Asian epistemic network community.

Research Programs
Alliance Networks in Northeast Asia
This project seeks to understand the changing alliance strategies of major countries and the impact of the regional military power balance. It will contribute to a greater understanding of 21st century alliances in the region and develop more cooperation to promote stability. Major topics include: military strategies of major Northeast Asian countries; current alliance networks and alliance strategy; regional and multilateral cooperation; and South Korean defense and alliance policies.

The Future of North Korea
The Korean peninsula remains divided and North Korea’s nuclear program is a major security concern for the region. The future of the leadership, regime, and state are of critical importance in how to deal with this failing state. This project will focus on a better understanding of the key issues of North Korea with an emphasis on its future. Major topics include: theorizing North Korea; North Korean politics; North Korean military; North Korean economy; North Korean society and human rights; North Korean science and technology; North Korean diplomacy; the future of North Korea; and the new governance of Korean Peninsula.

National Identity Rivalry and Regional Stability in East Asia
Identity has now become a key variable in redefining security challenges and explaining both the sources of peace and of insecurity in the region. This project aims to explore the relationship between national identity and regional stability in East Asia. Major topics include: multiple identities; contending historical memories and territorial disputes; contents of national identity; relational national identity and soft power.

Asia Security Initiative Scholars Program
The EAI has launched the Asia Security Initiative Scholars Program that invites outstanding scholars of security studies to write timely policy research reports. The products take two forms: (1) MASI at EAI Working Paper Series and (2) MASI at EAI Issue Briefing Series. During the first half of 2009, the EAI will produce three Working Papers and six Issue Briefings. In addition to policy research report series, the EAI is planning to publish (3) MASI at EAI Translation Paper Series that translate quality studies in Korean into ones in English.

Expert Forum
InfraVision Forum
The EAI organizes the “InfraVision Forum” that offers to open discussions on current issues of national security with leading figures in order to establish a blueprint for the development of a future infrastructure in Korea and East Asia. The Forum will let us to discuss about the vision and develop systematic transformation strategy for leading global society in the 21th century.

Smart Talk Forum
The EAI organizes “Smart Talks” that offers an opportunity for leading scholars in Korea to meet and engage with prominent figures from around the world. The Forum will accelerate various international research collaborations and develop a global academic network on East Asia.