Is a ‘Grand Bargain’ the Way Forward in Northeast Asia?

Global Asia- Winter 2016

Author/s (editor/s):

Evelyn Goh

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

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GlobalAsia- Is a ‘Grand Bargain’ the Way Forward in Northeast Asia?

As strategic efforts are defined in part by their ultimate “big picture” goals, Evelyn Goh addresses the question of what the endpoint should be for strategic diplomacy in Northeast Asia. She argues that in considering the broader regional order, an ultimate goal must be to forge a feasible and sustainable “grand bargain” among the resident great powers. To contextualize the debate about a possible new grand bargain for the analytical and policy challenges of strategic diplomacy in Northeast Asia, this essay offers three entry-points for discussion. First, it sets out the comparative advantages of adopting a grand bargain framework to understanding how a new regional order may be negotiated. Second, it reminds us that prior strategic bargains already exist in the wider Asia-Pacific region, and considers how these may interact with the proposals for a new grand bargain. Finally, it briefly reviews some recent key Chinese ideas about such bargains to highlight the obstacles and opportunities faced by strategic diplomats seeking to broker a new grand bargain in Northeast Asia.

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