At the heart of contemporary trade in East Asia lies a tangled web of interdependence engendered by global value chains (GVCs), which connect the region tightly with itself and with the rest of the world. According to a leading theory in international relations, such economic interdependence both lubricates interstate cooperation and spills over into other issue-areas, as it does in the EU. Etel Solingen argues that this theory is especially applicable to complex GVCs, since they bind states in ways that transcend older modalities of trade interdependence. But she notes that mounting protectionism, trade wars, economic statecraft, and geopolitical tensions have increased the risks to GVCs and could disrupt some of the benefits they have yielded in the past. Such a “natural experiment”–the unfolding reality–allows observers to gauge the role of GVC interdependence in contemporary Asia-Pacific relations.

Etel Solingen is the Thomas T. and Elizabeth C. Tierney Chair in Peace and Conflict Studies and Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine. She received her bachelor's from the Hebrew University and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Solingen studies the nexus between international political economy and international security; globalization and its discontents; global supply chains; comparative regional orders; transnational diffusion; nuclear proliferation; and science and technology. Her awards include the William and Katherine Estes Award from the National Academy of Sciences, American Political Science Association’s Woodrow Wilson Best Book Award, International Studies Association’s Distinguished Scholar award in International Security, Susan Strange Professorship at the London School of Economics, MacArthur Foundation Award on Peace and International Cooperation, Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Foundation Fellowship on Peace and Security, Jervis and Schroeder Award for best book on international history and politics, Japan Foundation/SSRC Abe Fellowship, and APSA Excellence in Mentorship Award, among others. Her research has also been supported by the Carnegie Corporation, United States Institute of Peace, Sloan Foundation, University of California Office of the President, and others.

Solingen’s books include Nuclear Logics: Contrasting Paths in East Asia and the Middle East (Princeton, 2007), Regional Orders at Century’s Dawn (Princeton, 1999), Industrial Policy, Technology, and International Bargaining (Stanford, 1996), Comparative Regionalism (Routledge, 2015), Geopolitics, Supply Chains and International Relations of East Asia (ed., Cambridge, forthcoming), Sanctions, Statecraft, and Nuclear Proliferation (ed., Cambridge, 2012), and Scientists and the State: Domestic Structures and the International Context (University of Michigan, 1994). Her articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Politics, Global Governance, Review of International Studies, Journal of Democracy, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, and New Political Economy, among others.

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