The Asan Forum

As the strategic significance of Asia increases with the region’s economic and diplomatic influence, and as analyses broaden in geographic scope by devoting greater attention to India and Southeast Asia in addition to the traditional players in Northeast Asia, growing uncertainty complicates the region’s prospects for maintaining peace and extending prosperity. In particular, tensions involving emotionally held and politically operative beliefs about identity threaten to destabilize the Asian model of delinking politics from economics and promoting business and trade expansion to raise living standards. The risks of miscommunication and unintended escalation in Asia because of identity conflicts over history, territory, and regional leadership are arguably the greatest questions for the region’s future. This Special Forum brings together scholars from different disciplines, representing various university and think tank projects and examining myriad national cases, to provide new insights on these identity questions.

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About Experts

Leif-Eric Easley
Leif-Eric Easley

Foreign Policy Program / Center for Foreign Policy and National Security

Dr. Leif-Eric EASLEY is a international research fellow in the Foreign Policy Program in the Center for Foreign Policy and National Security at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Easley is also an assistant professor of International Studies at Ewha Womans University where he teaches international security and political economics. His research interests include contested national identities and changing levels of trust in the bilateral security relationships of Northeast Asia. He was the Northeast Asian History Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University. He was also a visiting scholar at Yonsei University and the University of Southern California’s Korean Studies Institute. He is actively involved in US-Asia dialogues (Track II diplomacy) with the Asan Institute and the Pacific Forum-Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Easley received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.