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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