Beyond the Cold War, toward a Community of Asia (CWCA)
A research project funded by the Academy of Korean Studies, 2016–2021 

Cold War history has a unique temporality in Asia. Asia shares with Europe the tectonic shift of the global political order in the early 1990s, commonly called the end of the Cold War. However, it is not certain whether the bipolar politics of the twentieth century are truly over in Asia, as witnessed vividly in the unfolding of events in the Korean peninsula today. Asia’s Cold War experience is distinct to Europe’s also in that it took manifestly violent forms. The Cold War in Europe may have been a long peace; the Cold War in Asia was close to a condition of global civil war, the legacies of which still reverberate across communities in the region. Another notable difference relates to the process of transnational integration. The postcolonial Asia parted with the post-World War II Europe in the sphere of regional community building.

Based on this broad comparative historical understanding of the Cold War in Eurasia, CWCA explores:
(1) Asia’s Cold War history as a contemporary history
(2) Plurality of Asia’s Cold War experience existing within the region, not merely in relation to Europe and Transatlantic
(3) The prospect of a regional communal integration beyond the divisive and violent legacies of the Cold War.

CWCA will pursue this objective based on a creative, long-term collaboration between two research groups:
(A) Historians of international relations interested in conceptual history and social theory
(B) Social scientists interested in theories of community in historical perspective.

The project team is led by Professor Heonik Kwon, an anthropologist and leading scholar in modern Asian studies.


The project team is led by Professor Heonik Kwon, an anthropologist and leading scholar in modern Asian studies.


Avram Agov, Associate Professor, Langara College, Vancouver
Victor Theo, Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong
Hajimu Masuda, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore
Kak-Jae Kim, Associate Professor, Seoul National University

The project administrator is Michelle Maciejewska.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk