What Goes Up Must Come Down? Evaluating the Potential Breakdown of Patterns in Korea, Japan, and China's Island Disputes

Project: Research project

Project Details


Recent scholarship on the collection of East Asian island disputes – including the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute between Korea and Japan and the Senkaku/Diaoyutai dispute between Japan, China, and Taiwan – has identified a consistent pattern of government behavior that has prevailed over time and across regime types (Koo 2010, Downs and Saunders 1998). Governments across the region appear to ramp up, then tamp down their demands for territorial control over the disputed territories. One factor leading to such de-escalation might be the economic implications of further escalation. Consequently, the overall levels of intensity have remained bounded between the extremes of war and peace over the lifetime of these disputes: governments don’t want war (among other things, it’s not good for the economy), but also do not consider settlement through compromise to be a viable option (the domestic political costs would be too high considering the high baseline of nationalistic sentiment in the region, particularly related to unresolved historical issues).
Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/16


  • Korea Foundation (1020100-1124)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.