Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies major in Asian Studies

Subject Categories

East Asian Languages and Societies


College of Liberal Arts


International Studies

Thesis Adviser

Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby

Defense Panel Chair

Mark Inigo M. Tallara

Defense Panel Member

Cleo Anne M. Calimbahin
Ignacio G. Ver


Conflict resolution determines the phenomenon of peace as merely the absence of war, and vice versa. This axiomatic determinism is problematic on many fronts as peace and conflict, though two sides of the same coin are nebulously complex. This basic assumption has revolved around International Relations’ aim at positivism. Peace research (or peace study) recalibrates its approach by shifting its focus to the non-war research agenda but still maintains similar materialism as conflict resolution. A careful examination of extant literature suggests three deficiencies. First, the materialistic conception of peace and conflict has dominated the discipline, and this impedes a nuanced picture of peace. Second, there is little focus on ideational elements of peace such as speech, utterances, meanings, and actions. Lastly, there is little literature on the study of peace in East Asia. To remedy this, this peace study proposes the use of Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action as an alternative to peace study frameworks and the prevailing conflict resolution paradigms as it offers an ideational account of conflict actors’ speech, utterances, meanings, and actions. The study employs discourse analysis along the contours of communicative action theory to argue that the actors’ rationalization of conflict and their respective response to the said conflict will yield a nuanced picture of peace stability in East Asia. The study looks at the communicative interactions between that of Taiwan and China (Cross-Straits) and that of North Korea and South Korea (the Korean Peninsula).

Abstract Format







Peace; Conflict management--East Asia; Peace-building--East Asia; Discourse analysis

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