© 2018

Identity, Trust, and Reconciliation in East Asia

Dealing with Painful History to Create a Peaceful Present

  • Kevin P Clements

Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)

About this book


This edited collection explores how East Asia’s painful history continues to haunt the relationships between its countries and peoples. Through a largely social-psychological and constructivist lens, the authors examine the ways in which historical memory and unmet identity needs generates mutual suspicion, xenophobic nationalism and tensions in the bilateral and trilateral relationships within the region. This text not only addresses some of the domestic drivers of Japanese, Chinese and South Korean foreign policy - and the implications of increasingly autocratic rule in all three countries – but also analyses the way in which new security mechanisms and processes advancing trust, confidence and reconciliation can replace those generating mistrust, antagonism and insecurity. 


Identity in East Asia Trust in East Asia Reconciliation in East Asia China Japan South Korea Historical Amnesia Thailand Obstacles to reconciliation Collective guilt Collective responsibility Trust building Northeast Asia Apology and Forgiveness

Editors and affiliations

  • Kevin P Clements
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre for Peace & Conflict StuUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

About the editors

Professor Kevin Clements is the Foundation Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the New Zealand National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS) at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, and Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association.

Bibliographic information


“The volume is an excellent starting point to understand the difficulties of reconciliation and closer collaboration in the region. With its well-rounded choice of authors and their empathetic efforts, combined with the very thoughtful and balanced summary by the editor, the book provides a valuable contribution not only to political and sociological practice, but to academic research as well.” (H-Soz-Kult,, January, 31 , 2019)