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Social Sciences and Humanities in the Far East

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Spasskiy E. N.

Dear Readers,

        This issue of the journal is a new politilogical thematic issue. This time it is devoted to geo-political problems of the Asia-Pacific region. We are glad to note that proceeding from the tradition that was set in the process of preparing previous thematic issues, this particular issue has resulted from fruitful cooperation of the Far Eastern politologists and the researchers of the Saint-Petersburg State University.

        On the one hand, this issue presents conceptual papers that touch upon complex integral aspects of the development of the Asian-Pacific region, provide analysis of prospects and specific features of the foreign policy processes in this region, and consider the role of Russia and the Russian Far East within the context of the trends distinguished by the authors. In addition to that, this issue presents papers devoted to more localized Asia-Pacific spacio-temporal problems.

        The issue opens with the article of I.V. Radikov, where he considers global tendencies and regional specific features. He analyses the capabilities for realization of the idea of collective security in the Asia-Pacific region suggested by Russia under the modern conditions.

        Comparative analysis of conceptual approaches, principles and theoretical paradigms of economic integration in Europe and East Asia is done by V.A. Smolyakov. The author pays special attention to the problem of state sovereignty under the conditions of interpenetration of domestic policy and international relationships.

        In the paper of I.F. Yarulin "The Russian Far East: Geopolitics, Geostrategy, Geo-Economics and Geopolitical Risks", the region is considered an interlink between Russia and the Asia-Pacific region. According to the author, the Russian Far East is the RF strategic key to the gates of Northeast Asia. The author concludes that the current situation generates geo-political risks and requires development of geopolitical and geostrategical approaches.

        D.A. Lanko focuses on the theoretization of the ideas about the system of international relationships. These ideas influence the process of decision making in foreign policy. The paper shows that at present, the role of these ideas in the decision making process is similar to the role of geopolitical ideas of the beginning of the 20th century.

        The process of international cooperation and regional integration in Northeast Asia is the object of research of Y.A. Lamasheva. Based on a special method of factor analysis the author makes a conclusion that Northeast Asia lacks favourable conditions for the formation of transnational identity.

        The paper of Y.V. Leksyutina covers China-U.S. rivalry in Southeast Asia. In the author's opinion, these two powers pursue their aims of expanding their spheres of influence in this region and of strengthening of their supremacy in the current regional integration processes. The South China Sea is becoming a special point in this rivalry between the USA and China.

        I.S. Lantsova analyses the place and the role of the Korean peninsular in the geopolitical strategies of such countries as China, Russia, the USA and Japan from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century. The paper considers geopolitical reasons for the split of Korea and investigates geopolitical and geostrategic factors of international relationships over the Korean peninsular before and after the Cold War.

        This thematic issue is concluded by the paper of A.S. Kim, which presents theoretical and methodological analysis of ethnopolitical conflict potential in the Russian Far East and reveals major directions of scientifically substantiated regional national politics and their role in prevention and monitoring of ethnopolitical conflicts.

        We hope that the presented papers will contribute to the development of this broad thematic field and, which is more important, will arouse sincere interest in the readers.

Sincerely yours, Evgeny Spassky, Deputy Chief Editor

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