The failure to reconcile views of the past and to address historical injustice has damaged inter-state relations in Northeast Asia. Joint committees, dialogues and the participation of civil society have been used to address historical issues, but scholars in the disciplines of international relations and area studies have largely ignored these dialogues and deliberative forums. At the same time, there is an emergent theoretical literature on how deliberative democracy can address ethnic conflicts and historical injustice. There is a serious disconnect or distance between the theoretical literature on the resolution of conflicts via deliberation on the one hand, and empirical studies of deliberative approach in East Asia on the other. This article aims to address this shortcoming in the study of the politics of historical dispute in Northeast Asia by proposing a deliberative approach to history disputes and highlighting the achievements, limits and dynamics of deliberation. Through mapping and comparative testing, we confirm that deliberation offers some potential for a departure from nationalist mentalities and a shift towards a consciousness of regional history in Northeast Asia. Our empirical test of the utility of the deliberative approach suggests that a new model for addressing regional disputes may be emerging.
Published online 27 January 2012
Field of Research
160603 Comparative Government and Politics 160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific 160609 Political Theory and Political Philosophy