Gilbert Rozman


Gilbert Rozman is the Emeritus Musgrave Professor of Sociology and the editor-in-chief of The Asan Forum, a bi-monthly, on-line journal on international relations in the Indo-Pacific region. He taught at Princeton from 1970 to 2013. His specialization is Northeast Asia—China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea—including modernization, national identities, mutual perceptions, regionalism, and strategic thinking. Much of his work has involved comparisons—of socialism and the transition away from the traditional forms of it; of Confucian legacies and their impact on modern societies; of national strategies for regionalism and how they conflict with each other; and of the sources of distrust in bilateral relations and in relations with the United States. 

Why Is Northeast Asia A Distinctive Kind Of Global Center?

Answers to this question require a historical investigation into the Confucian roots of China, Japan, and Korea and their paths toward modernization. Comparing the legacy of socialism in the region, especially the challenges faced by the Chinese and the Russians in dismantling socialist structures while preserving other aspects of society, also turns out to be critical. I explore national identities, especially in Japan and South Korea, to understand how they shape bilateral trust and evolving relations in the region. Clashing national identities are key to understanding how international relations are shaping up in Northeast Asia. The sociological importance of regionalism is clear in any consideration of the Northeast as an area rather than a disparate collection of individual societies. My work is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-social, while remaining grounded in the comparative enterprise that is Sociology.

Selected Publications


Korea at the Center: The Search for Regionalism in Northeast Asia (coed., M.E. Sharpe, 2005) 


Northeast Asia’s Stunted Regionalism: Bilateral Distrust in the Shadow of Globalization (Cambridge University Press, 2004) 


Japan and Russia: The Tortuous Path to Normalization, 1949-1999 (ed., St. Martin’s Press, 2000) Dismantling Communism: Common Causes and Regional Variations (ed., Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992) 


The East Asian Region: Confucian Heritage and Its Modern Adaptation (ed., Princeton University Press, 1991) 


The Chinese Debate about Soviet Socialism, 1978-1985 (Princeton University Press, 1987)