European integration is characterized by the development of a transnational European identity, which is considered an integral part of the process. Northeast Asia has no similar projects to address the common identity issue, although cooperation is highly valued there as well. Identity and cooperation both require interdisciplinary approaches combining social psychology, international relations theory and international economics. This article considers the problems of applying existing studies on cooperation and identity as well as the European experience (with the Baltic Sea example) to the case of Northeast Asia. Transnational identities promote cooperation beyond the limits of rationalistic game theory, if countries of the region can define their identities and interests, commit to common goals, create shared discourses and reach a balance between nationalism and internationalism. In view of proposed negotiations on the free trade area between China, Korea and Japan and ongoing discussions about a possibility of introducing a common currency (ACU) it can be crucial to consider the importance of identity building as early as possible, before regional integration meets a stumbling block of egoistic rationality that is a problem in any model of cooperation.
Ⅱ. Cooperation: incentive and normative theories
Ⅲ. Identity Definition and Construction: social psychology
Ⅳ. Identity in International Relations Theory
Ⅴ. The Baltic Sea Region: transnational identities and regional integration
Ⅵ. Northeast Asia: the problems of transnational identity construction