日本語   JCIE Japanese Language Site



Overview Report, 2002

This overview report looks at the trends in Track 1 meetings (governmental), Track 2 meetings (nongovernmental, sometimes including government officials in their private capacities), and Track 3 meetings (academic and strictly nongovernmental), as well as dialogue and research activities pertaining to Asia Pacific security and community building for the period of 2002. For a full explanation of the scope and process please refer to the notes.

Overview Report | Track 1 Meetings | Track 2 Meetings
Track 3 Meetings
| Reserve | Research Monitor

Overview

The 2002 Dialogue and Research Monitor was the final issue organized by Paul Evans and his staff at the University of British Columbia, Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies. The results of previous issues are available in Paul M. Evans, ed., Studying Asia Pacific Security: The Future of Research, Training and Dialogue Activities (Toronto: Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies, 1994), hard copy versions between 1995 and 1998, and, after 1998, in electronic form on the JCIE website.

Trends in 2002

The most obvious observation is that the volume of meetings at the governmental level is fairly consistent with the past three years and that the volume of track two and track three activities continues to expand. There have been significant new additions like the Shangri-la Dialogue process but the framework for these meetings is fairly well developed, involving regularized institutions like ASEAN, the ARF, ASEM, CSCAP (and now PECC and APEC) and ASEAN ISIS and ongoing series organized by numerous institutes around the region. There appear to be very few institutions, series, or networks that have ceased or dissolved in the past five years. The general pattern is thus of more rather than less activity and a gradual thickening of multilateral connections.

While a large number of meetings have an Asia Pacific axis, much of the new activity is taking on new geographical configurations. This includes a substantial increase of meetings within Asia on an East Asian basis, connecting Northeast Asia to Central Asia, connecting East Asia to South Asia, and connecting Asia to Europe. In 1993 almost all multilateral meetings (excluding intra-ASEAN) had American participation; by 2002 there were dozens of multilateral events that did not.

There continues to be a steady number of meetings focusing on military security issues (eg. weapons systems, military doctrine) and specific inter-state conflicts (eg. Korean Peninsula, South China Sea, Taiwan Strait) within Asia Pacific and beyond. What is striking is the substantial increase in meetings on intra-state problems (eg. Aceh and East Timor), trans-national issues related to migration, environment, and human security, human security defined both as broad conceptions of human well being and narrower ones of protection of individuals in situations of violent conflict. It is equally striking that not only are conventional security channels tending to a broader definition of security but that groups and processes not previously interested in security -- among them APEC and PECC at one end of the spectrum and NGO coalitions at the other -- are turning to hard and soft security issues with increasing regularity.

September 11th and the ensuing efforts at counter-terrorism have had a major impact on the agenda and focus of multilateral discussions. This seems to have two strands. The first centers on the immediate issues of the sources and causes of terrorism, methods for expanding cooperation in intelligence exchange, and linkages to transnational economic issues such as strategies for combating terrorism through fiscal measures to stop money laundering. The second strand focuses on implications of terrorism and the related issue of weapons of mass destruction. Subjects include the impact on great power relations, alliances, management of specific conflicts (especially the Korean peninsula and cross-Strait relations), and, from a different perspective, implications of the strategies of combating terrorism for civil rights and democratization.

The focus on terrorism and trans-national crime is not completely new. It had frequently been a part of security discussions well before September 11th. What has changed is that there is not only more of it but that it has blurred the distinction between hard and soft security issues. It has also brought security issues on to the agendas of a much broader universe of experts and institutions. Terrorism in particular has a new saliency that cuts across the mandates and concerns of organizations and networks that were previously never, or at least rarely, connected. Religion, religious extremism, and their social context, for example, were usually at the periphery of most discussions of security and economics in Asia Pacific setting before September 11th. They now are regular topics of discussion and cut across the previous boundaries of different multilateral processes.

Despite the significant increases in "non-traditional security" and "human security" approaches (and there is an increasingly clear understanding of the overlap and differences between the two concepts) at all three levels, traditional or hard security issues and the state as principal actor still dominate at the track one and track two levels.

Observations

In addition to these broad trends, several specific observations on agenda, participants and themes warrant mention.

On military security

On great power interactions

Asian-Only Processes

Asia-Europe Activities

Conflict-Specific Dialogues

Cooperative Security

Non-Traditional and Human Security

On Track Three

Sponsorship, Organization and Participation