Contesting the Limits of Civic Equality and Participation in the Age of Revolutions
Gone But Not Forgotten
James I. Matray
President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policies toward Korea were targets of wide criticism from his contemporaries in the late 1970s, and they remain contentious among historians today. The root of Carter’s dismal record regarding this East Asian nation was not simply his misplaced focus on troop withdrawals and human rights, but rather the U.S. president’s failure to change measurably or positively the status quo on the Korean Peninsula. Utilizing sources from the United States and, to a lesser extent, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, and People’s Republic of China, this article explores an often ignored element of Carter’s policy toward the two Koreas—dialogue—to illuminate this point. It also explores U.S.-China diplomacy on the dialogue initiative, demonstrating the limits of relying on Beijing to coax P’yŏngyang into returning to the negotiating table.
James Jungbok Lee
This article examines the reasons why the level of alliance cohesion between the United States and the Republic of Korea (rok) was suboptimal during the Second North Korean Nuclear Crisis (2002–2006). Existing studies on this phenomenon primarily attribute its causes to factors like the rise of anti-Americanism in the rok and/or the increasing divergence in the two nations’ respective threat perceptions of the North Korea and their resulting policy preferences. However, these explanations are partial at best. The main finding here is that one should understand the frictions in the U.S.-rok alliance in terms of the rok’s status concerns. In particular, the rok, with a sense of entitlement to its solid middle power status, had set out to cooperate closely with the United States in seeking to answer the nuclear problem, based on the spirit of horizontal, equitable alliance relations. However, the United States failed overall to reciprocate, thereby leading the rok to boldly pursue its own set of policies at the expense of eroding alliance cohesion. These events demonstrate that (dis)respect for status concerns in international politics can make a major contribution towards facilitating (or impeding) interstate cooperation.