East Asia (including Southeast Asia) used to be the world's deadliest battleground but since the 1980s there has been a sudden and marked reduction in battle deaths. This phenomenon, which has become known as the East Asian Peace, has spurred much debate. This volume reflects on some of the most prominent of these debates. Here, it focuses more on presenting and evaluating a variety of themes in relation to each other rather than offering simplistic answers to a complex question.
While the chapters of this volume obviously discuss processes and events in East Asia, its contributions also offer insights to the core general questions for understanding peace and conflict. What is peace and how can it be studied? How can we characterize the East Asian Peace? What limits and conditions are associated with this peace? Can insights from East Asia explain overall regional trends of political violence? Does the way in which peace came about impact on the quality of peace? Is the East Asian peace under threat? If so, then why is this and where is the threat coming from?
Elin Bjarnegard is Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the Department of Government, Uppsala University. Her research interests are within the field of comparative politics with a particular focus on gender, masculinities, conflict, political parties, and informal institutions.
Joakim Kreutz is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University. His research is on international relations with a particular focus on cross-national studies of civil war dynamics and resolution. Both editors are core group members of the East Asian Peace Programme and are widely published in their field.