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Title: The Price for Peace is Perpertual Preparation for War: Will Arms Build-Ups Lead to Interstate Conflict in East Asia?
Authors: Ho Jinglin Ellycia
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2018
Citation: Ho Jinglin Ellycia (2018-04-06). The Price for Peace is Perpertual Preparation for War: Will Arms Build-Ups Lead to Interstate Conflict in East Asia?. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Will arms build-ups lead to interstate conflict in East Asia? The security dilemma emerging from arms build-ups has been argued to result in misperceptions, conflict spirals, heightened tensions and ultimately interstate conflict. The conventional wisdom is that the arms build-up in East Asia is especially dangerous, due to historical antagonisms and the lack of regional institutions to govern interstate relations. Moving beyond this general insight, I argue in this thesis that arms build-ups do not inevitably lead to conflict. Using a composite framework adapting the theoretical predictions of misperceptions and offence-defence theory, I contend that the fundamental conditions which need to be fulfilled for states to become embroiled in conflict are capabilities and intentions, as well as the security arrangements which contribute to the assessment of such capabilities and intentions. As China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all acknowledge the advantages of cooperation, it is improbable that they would view war as the best or only option to achieve their strategic objectives. The defensive security alliances of the US in East Asia also reduce the likelihood of conflict by increasing the expected costs of war. A theoretically-informed assessment based on the capabilities/intentions framework is thus essential, to go beyond mere speculation about the danger arising from the regional arms build-up and its potential destructive consequences.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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