Jeffrey Robertson, "South Korea and the East Asia Summit: collective identity, balance of power or domestic politics?", Research Brief Series, Parliament of Australia, 4 December 2006.


On 13–14 December 2005, the inaugural East Asia Summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Three new member states from outside the contemporary geographical definition of East Asia were added—Australia, New Zealand and India. This paper addresses the question of whether the addition of the three new members represents the evolution of a regional collective identity, a calculated move to maximise advantage in the balance of power, or the will of domestic constituencies within existing member states.

Taking South Korea as a case study, the paper looks at the competing theories and compares the role of collective identity, the balance of power and domestic politics in motivating the South Korean approach to the East Asia Summit. It develops conclusions about the usefulness of the competing theories and draws implications for policy makers.

South Korea and East Asia Summit.pdf