A central focus for the research efforts of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center is an ongoing exploration of simultaneous trends toward regional integration and rising nationalism in Northeast Asia.
This strategic region is standing at a turning point in its history, marked by the end of Cold War and by the emergence of China as a major power. With the key economies of China, Japan and South Korea growing increasingly interdependent, the movement toward regionalism is gaining momentum. Yet, interdependency, often set in a global context, also spurs nationalism in all three countries and beyond in East Asia. The rivalry between Japan and China in Northeast Asia, burdened by unresolved issues of history, has re-emerged.
In May 2006, a conference was convened to examine the competing visions of regional integration and their prospects for realization, national tensions and rivalry, and the American relationship to Northeast Asian regionalism. An edited volume of the resulting essays, Cross Currents: Regionalism and Nationalism in Northeast Asia, was published in 2007.