A call for a research agenda to explain the relative peace in East Asia since 1979.
Since 1979, East Asia has seen very little warfare, as compared with the previous decades and with other regions post 1979. In this article, Stein Tønnesson calls for a sustained research effort to explain this relative peace by testing out various theoretical approaches.
This article discusses how historians and social scientists may go about seeking to explain the relative absence of war in East Asia since 1979, after a period of three decades when East Asia was the world's most war-prone region. Many have discussed the European Peace, only few the East Asian one, which calls for both similar and quite different explanations. The article does not present findings from research already made, but rather calls for a research agenda, aiming to solicit sponsors and contributors around the world who would like to take part in its development. The purpose will not just be to understand the past, but also to discuss what it may take to protect, deepen, and sustain peace in East Asia at a time of economic upheaval and a likely continued, perhaps accelerated shift of economic as well as military power from North America and Europe to East Asia.