East Asia's Other Miracle: Explaining the Decline of Mass Atrocities

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Oxford University Press, 2017 - Political Science - 339 pages
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East Asia, until recently a boiling pot of massacre and blood-letting, has achieved relative peace. A region that at the height of the Cold War had accounted for around eighty percent of the world's mass atrocities has experienced such a decline in violence that by 2015 it accounted for less than five percent.

This book explains East Asia's 'other' miracle and asks whether it is merely a temporary blip in the historical cycle or the dawning of a new, and more peaceful, era for the region. It argues that the decline of mass atrocities in East Asia resulted from four interconnected factors: the consolidation of states and emergence of responsible sovereigns; the prioritization of economic development through trade; the development of norms and habits of multilateralism, and transformations in the practice of power politics. Particular attention is paid to North Korea and Myanmar, countries whose experience has bucked regional trends largely because these states have not succeeded in consolidating themselves to the point where they no longer depend on violence to survive. Although the region faces several significant future challenges, this book argues that the much reduced incidence of mass atrocities in East Asia is likely to be sustained into the foreseeable future.

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State Consolidation
The Developmental Trading State
Habits of Multilateralism
Power Politics
The Impossible State ́ ́ North Korea
At the Crossroads Myanmar
Future Trajectories

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About the author (2017)

Alex J. Bellamy, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, The University of Queensland, Australia

Alex J. Bellamy is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, The University of Queensland, Australia. He is also Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute, New York and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He recently served as a consultant to the United Nations office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect and as Secretary of the High Level Advisory Panel on the Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia, chaired by former ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan. His publications include The Oxford Handbook on the Responsibility to Protect (OUP, 2015), The Responsibility to Protect: A Defense (OUP, 2014), and Massacres and Morality: Mass Atrocities in an Age of Civilian Immunity (OUP, 2012).

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