Shared identity and reconciliation: can a future security framework in Northeast Asia draw from experiences of the North Atlantic security cooperation?
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In the wake of the deteriorating relations between the former Allies of the Second World War, several European countries, the United States of America, and Canada came together to provide for their security and in 1949 formed a unique security alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In addition to its collective defense function, the creators of NATO also paid attention to community building among the alliance members. After reconciliation with its former enemies, the re-armed Germany was allowed to join this community even though it had caused the Second World War. These observations lead to the question of the importance of community and reconciliation for the creation and success of NATO. On the other hand, Northeast Asia, which had also been severely affected by Japanese colonialism and the Pacific War, did not evolve into an area of peace and security. This situation might be even more surprising given the number of existing forums dealing with security issues. This thesis examines the possibility of NATO-like security cooperation in Northeast Asia that features community building aspects and reconciliation, both of which are assumed to be normative prerequisites of a security community.
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