This chapter explores the role of “power politics”—the domain of national security interests and the procurement and use of military power—in the decline of mass atrocities in East Asia. It suggests that power politics made an important, but not the singularly most important, contribution. The chapter has three parts. First, it explores how conventional power politics contributed to the decline of mass atrocities in East Asia. Although not central to the overall story, once they were established, the balance of power and both conventional and nuclear deterrence played a role in limiting the further escalation of potential conflicts. Second, it examines the limits of power politics. Third, it points to specific security practices that were more consequential, including the development of omnidirectional security relations, a tendency to avoid destabilizing competition, de-polarization, and the enmeshing of great powers in the region’s norms
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