Introduction: The International Politics of Resources

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Asian Studies Review, 2013, 37 (2), pp. 125 - 140
Issue Date:
2013-01
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China, Japan and Korea's international relations are shaped by the fact that all three are significant importers of resources. This Introduction proposes two conceptual frameworks for understanding the politics that is taken up in the papers of this Special Issue. The first is to consider the extent to which there is an East Asian model of resource procurement. We find that there are some similarities in the approaches taken by all three countries; for example, their development assistance shares a focus on infrastructure building and a reticence to purposefully influence domestic politics. There are, however, also significant differences due in large part to the individual nature of the states as international actors. The second conceptual framework is the broad contemporary theme of the end of Western dominance of the world order. The main way this affects the international politics of resources in Northeast Asia is through the belief that the activities of those countries are threatening in some way. In some cases Northeast Asian approaches to resources are seen as a problem because they are not sufficiently liberal, whereas in others the problem is that Northeast Asian powers are seen as replacing Western powers in exploiting resource-rich developing countries
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