The second of Gilbert Rozman’s contributed volumes on East Asian national identity traces how efforts to draw a sharp divide between one country’s identity and that of another shape relations in the post–Cold War era. It examines the two-way relations of Japan, South Korea, and China, introducing the concept of a national identity gap to estimate the degree to which the identities of two countries target each other as negative contrasts. This concept is then applied to China’s reinterpretation from 2009 to 2011 of the gap between its identity and that of the United States. Each pairing represents a key relationship through which an Asian country has historically shaped its identity, and is striving to reshape it.

The volume begins with experts’ analyses of how Japan, South Korea, and China have changed their diplomatic environment in Asia in order to transform identity. In the second half of the book, Rozman reflects on the discomfort all three East Asian countries have from excessive dependence on the United States. He concentrates on Chinese discourse in particular, as analyzed through the ideological, temporal, sectoral, vertical, and horizontal dimensions of national identity. Even if foreign policy turns more cautionary for a time, Rozman argues that China’s inflammatory identity discourse, which remains at an intensity unmatched in the other countries, will continue to have a chilling effect on prospects for pragmatic diplomacy with the United States.

This book, the second of three volumes edited by Gilbert Rozman for Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press, follows East Asian National Identities: Common Roots and Chinese Exceptionalism (2012) and is followed by The Sino-Russian Challenge to the World Order: National Identities, Bilateral Relations, and East versus West in the 2010s (2014).

Gilbert Rozman is the Musgrave Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. He was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2010–11.


Part I. Bilateral Relations and National Identities within East Asia

Introduction: Conceptualizing National Identity Gaps 
Gilbert Rozman

1. The Search for a Japanese National Identity by Foreign Service Officials 
Kazuhiko Togo

2. National Identities and South Korea–Japan Relations 
Cheol Hee Park

3. National Identities and Sino-Japanese Relations 
Ming Wan

4. National Identities and Sino–South Korean Relations 
Scott Snyder and See-Won Byun

5. The Rediscovery of the Tianxia World Order 
Yongnian Zheng

Part II. National Identity Gaps and the United States

Introduction: The U.S. Factor and East Asian National Identity Gaps
Gilbert Rozman

6. East Asian National Identities and International Relations Studies
Gilbert Rozman

7. Chinese National Identity and East Asian National Identity Gaps
Gilbert Rozman

8. Chinese National Identity and the Sino-U.S.Civilizaitonal Gap 
Gilbert Rozman


“Invaluable to understanding how dyadic relations across Northeast Asia are evolving and are likely to do so in the next decade or more.”—T. J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley

“A seminal work of superb scholarship, National Identities and Bilateral Relations: Widening Gaps in East Asia and Chinese Demonization of the United States is highly recommended for governmental and academic library International Studies Reference collections and contemporary East Asia Political Science Studies supplemental reading lists.”—James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review