One Thing Leads to Another: Making Sense of East Asia’s Repeated Tensions - By CWP Alumni Ja Ian Chong & Todd H. Hall

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017
by dsuchens

Both the East and Southeast China Seas have been home to a series of repeated episodes of tension between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its neighbors. Much of the existing literature either treats such episodes as isolated data points or as the manifestation of underlying structural factors. In this paper, we argue that repeated tensions can have important effects on subsequent interactions, generating emergent dynamics with dangerous consequences. What is more, we believe those dynamics to already be in play in several of the disputes within East Asia today. Examining recent developments in PRC-Japan and PRC-Philippines relations, we seek to shed light on how iterated episodes of tension are shaping the trajectory of interactions in both dyads. We believe these insights can inform efforts to understand relations in the region and beyond, given the growing frequency and intensity of repeated tensions among actors.

Ja Ian Chong

Ja Ian Chong is Associate Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore. He is author of External Intervention and the Politics of State Formation: China, Indonesia, Thailand—1893-1952 (Cambridge, 2012), recipient of the 2013 Best Book Award of the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association. Chong’s publications have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies, the China Quarterly, Twentieth Century China, and The National Interest. Chong and Hall have jointly published in International Security and World Economics and Politics.

Todd H. Hall

Todd H. Hall is Associate Professor of International Relations and Fellow at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford. He is author of Emotional DiplomacyOfficial Emotion on the International Stage (Cornell, 2015), co-winner of the 2016 Best Book Award of the Diplomatic Studies Section of the International Studies Association. Hall’s publications have appeared in International Organization, Security Studies, Political Science Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, and The Chinese Journal of International Politics.


One Thing Leads to Another: Making Sense of East Asia’s Repeated Tensions

Ja Ian Chong &Todd H. Hall

Pages 20-40 | Published online: 14 Feb 2017