Is Northeast Asia primed for peace or ripe for great-power rivalry? In this turbulent region, all the world-order challenges of arms control and disarmament, global North-South tensions, human rights and humanitarian intervention, environmental protection and eco-development, and democratization and humane governance are concentrated. More than any other part of the world, the divided Korean peninsula is the strategic crossroad where the four major regional/global powers—the United States, Russia, China, and Japan—uneasily interact. This authoritative work explores the complex and evolving interplay of national, regional, and global forces influencing Northeast Asia's security, economy, and identity. Written by a team of leading scholars, the book presents a variety of theoretical perspectives and case studies to offer a comprehensive analysis of the pressures that shape the policy choices of China, Russia, Japan, the United States, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. The authors' historically and culturally informed narratives help track and explain the changes and continuities of relationships within the region and with the United States and Russia. Concise and current, this book will be essential reading for all those concerned with the role of a changing Northeast Asia in world politics.