The security environment of Northeast Asia is increasingly affected by developments in the Russian Far East, including a longstanding economic crisis, changes in Russia's military policies, and the devolution of power to regional governments. Continuing poverty in the Russian Far East, the pervasiveness of organized crime, and weak state authority have provided a fertile breeding ground for illicit activities that may prove harmful to Russia's Pacific neighbors. Hopes that resource development and integration into the Asia-Pacific economy would fuel regional recovery have been frustrated by poor infrastructure, a difficult business environment, and Russian concerns about becoming a "resource appendage" to the developed world.
Russia's Far East: A Region at Risk comprehensively assesses the relationships among the economic collapse of the region; the post-Cold War role of Asia in Russia's security policy; trends in Russia's center-regional relations that impact tax collection, resource extraction, the military, and other issues; Russia's ability to manage potential areas of conflict like the maintenance of the nuclear fleet, nuclear dumping of radioactive materials in the Sea of Japan, and illegal migration from China; and the shifting balance of power in Asia.
An interdisciplinary team of specialists from the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and Korea discuss the historical, political, and economic contexts, as well as the strategic implications, of these developments. The contributors address the vital questions of how to achieve a stable political order in the Russian Far East, how to develop economic growth in the region, and how to promote efforts to link Russia and the Asia-Pacific powers into a cooperative framework of diplomatic relations.
Judith Thornton is professor of economics at the University of Washington. Charles E. Ziegler is professor and chair of political science at the University of Louisville.
AcknowledgmentsINTRODUCTIONThe Russian Far East in PerspectiveThe Balance of Power and U.S. Foreign Policy Interests in the Russian Far EastECONOMIC OUTCOMES OF MARKET REFORMSInfluence of the 1998 Financial Crisis on the Russian Far East EconomySocial and Economic Differentiation in the Russian Far EastThe Russian Far East's Competitive Position in Northeast Asian MarketsSECTORAL CASE STUDIES: FISHERIES, ENERGY, AND AGRICULTUREThe Crisis of the Region's Fishing Industry: Sources, Prospects, and the Role of Foreign InterestsSakhalin Energy: Problems and ProspectsAgrarian Reform and Agricultural Productivity in the Russian Far EastTHE MILITARY, THE PACIFIC FLEET, AND DEFENSE CONVERSIONRussian Reforms: Implications for Regional Security Policy and the MilitaryRussian Nuclear Regionalism: Emerging Local Influence over Far Eastern FacilitiesSecurity Implications of Defense Conversion in the Russian Far EastINTERNATIONAL RELATION: PERSPECTIVES FROM THE REGIONThe Regional Dynamic in Russia's Asia Policy in the 1990sChinese Migration in the Russian Far East: Security Threats and Incentives for Cooperation in Primorskii KraiPeculiarities of the Region's Political MentalityTHE BALANCE OF POWER AND THREAT PERCEPTIONSChina's Threat Perceptions and Policies toward the Russian Far EastThe Dynamics of Russian-South Korean Relations and Implications for the Russian Far EastINTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: PROSPECTS FOR COOPERATIONThe Japanese Economic Presence in the Russian Far EastEconomic Relations between South Korea and RussiaIndexAbout the Editors and Contributors