S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 38 Number 1/2 (2015)
Myths of the Return of the United States to East Asia: A Theoretical Review of the Realist Paradigm
- Min, Byoung Won
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.38 No.1, pp. 147-187
- The “Pivot to Asia” has been one of the most popular topic in international politics of East Asia for the past years. It seems natural for scholars to rely on the realist framework and concepts―such as hegemonic transition, balance of power, realignment of allies, territorial disputes, and cooperative and competitive regionalism―when they explain the return of America to East Asia and the consequent conflict with the rise of China. This paper proposes a critique on this realist approach by evaluating its relevance in the region. First, the paper reviews the realist framework of the United States’ foreign policy and examining its paradigmatic change during the Obama Administration. Next, the paper explicates the bias of great power politics paradigm when it is applied to East Asian international politics. Then, the paper discloses three realist myths that have been frequently proposed in the discourse of hegemonic competition between two superpowers in the region. Theoretical implications of these myths are discussed in order to fill the gap between the realist paradigm and the reality.