UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The securitization of free trade in Northeast Asia Kennedy, Trevor Patrick


This research considers the rise of bilateral free trade agreements and regional trade agreements in Northeast Asia and their impact on regional security policies, through an analysis of securitization at the government level in China, Japan, and South Korea under current governments/administrations. This thesis finds that the approach to securitization and subsequent policy formulation in the region is diverging between Japan, which seeks to promote and use free trade agreements to bolster ties with regionally important countries in a bid to reduce reliance and the likelihood of Chinese economic dependency, and China and South Korea, which are both promoting regionally inclusive trade ties as a means to promote economic interdependence and stability. The methods of investigation employed in this thesis are both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative analysis is based on merchandise trade data, demonstrating the importance of trade among the aforementioned countries. Polling data is also used to illustrate current attitudes towards neighbours. Qualitative analysis relies on a mix of economic and international relations literature on subjects related to trade and security, including securitization. Analysis is also based on government policy documents, speeches, and journalistic articles.

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