There is an emerging academic debate on what has been called the “East Asian Peace”—the relative peacefulness of the East Asian region since 1979. In this study I develop a critical argument that aspires to clarify what the “peace” in East Asia is. Distinguishing conflict management from conflict settlement I argue that the East Asian Peace has played out quite differently in different types of conflicts. What has changed, I contend, is not the frequency of armed conflicts but rather how the armed conflict has been managed. Military interventions have substantially decreased, whereas internal armed conflicts have actually slightly increased since 1979. Peace agreements have become less common, while conflict termination through cease-fires and low activity has increased. Internal armed conflicts with low-level foreign involvement remain an acute security problem in East Asia. This article describes the empirical trends and discusses the implications for further research.


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pp. 163-185
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