Global Dialogue

December 16, 2021 9:00 PM (JST)

TIU Global Dialogue 15: Doing IR Differently: Relational Cosmologies Around the World

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Based on a forum in International Studies Perspectives and a forthcoming special issue in Review of International Studies, this online panel addresses two challenges.

First, what happens if we conceive of International Relations (IR) from a relational perspective by assuming relations as prior to the existence of entities.

Second, it seeks to pluralize the sources of relational thinking in IR by showing how different cosmological traditions view relationality, suggesting the possibility of a pluriversal IR.

Each participant will be asked to speak to the challenges above when answering the following question: how are they doing IR differently?

November 25, 2021 3:45 PM (JST)

TIU International Affairs Seminar Series: Confronting or Engaging the DPRK?

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TIU International Affairs Seminar Series: Confronting or Engaging the DPRK? "Fire and Fury", Summit Diplomacy, and Declaration to End the Korean War

Nov 25, 2021 03:30 PM Japan Time
Guest Lecturer:
Dr. Hoo Chiew Ping, Strategic Studies & International Relations Program, National University of Malaysia (UKM)

In the 1980s, the United States first engaged the DPRK through the "Modest Initiative", while simultaneously confronting North Korea over its nuclear development program. Since then, U.S.-DPRK relations have had their ups and downs and questions still remain regarding how best to manage North Korean nuclear, missile, and military provocations and which is the right approach to use to convince North Korea to denuclearize. In 2018, when the DPRK declared itself a de facto nuclear-armed state, the Trump Administration swiftly changed its approach from "Fire and Fury" to conducting summits. In 2019, summit diplomacy lost its magic and the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a halt. Both Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in mooted the idea of declaring an end to the Korean War in 2021. From an ethical, geostrategic, and non-major stakeholder's perspective, this talk will highlight the major contentions surrounding the notion of "engaging North Korea."

November 10, 2021 7:00 PM (JST)

TIU Global Dialogue 14: Re-Orienting the History of International Relations

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In 1685, a Persian embassy from the Safavid Empire (Iran) embarked upon a journey across the Indian Ocean to Siam (Thailand). A relic of this journey is the diplomatic account the Safīna-i Sulaimānī - the Ship of Sulaimān - written by the scribe of the Persian envoy. On the basis of this primary Persian source and other materials, Dr. Anahita Arian unsettles in this talk the conventional and Eurocentric narratives about the history of international relations in which Europe is routinely identified as the most powerful center and agent of the world economy, and as the geo-cultural space where international relations and diplomacy emerged in the early modern period from where on it 'expanded' to the rest of the world. In contrast to this narrative, Dr. Arian discusses the centrality of Asia in the history of international relations, particularly for the Safavid Empire, and illustrates the relations that the Safavid Empire maintained (sometimes through intermediaries) with South East Asian polities, such as Thailand. Aside from examining how the Safavids encountered and perceived the kingdom of Thailand, what is further discussed, on the basis of the Safīna-i Sulaimānī, is the Persian envoy's familiarization and understandings of the culture, customs, religion and political orders of Japan (the Tokugawa shogunate), the Aceh Sultanate, China, and Burma (the Toungoo Kingdom), and these polities respective relations with Europeans and/or other polities providing an insight into the international relations of the seventeenth century. This discussion is concluded with a reflection about the urgent need for more non-Eurocentric historiography about the history of international relations and what the possibilities and prospects are for such research endeavors.

October 22, 2021 4:00 PM (JST)

TIU International Affairs Seminar Series Event: "From 'Golden Era' to 'Seriously Poisoned'"

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As recently as 2018, the UK government was continuing to describe the UK-China relationship as being in a 'golden era', following a deliberate effort to position the UK as China's number one partner in Europe even before the decision to leave the EU was taken. By the summer of 2020, China's ambassador described the relationship as 'seriously poisoned' following a series of UK policy decisions that negatively impacted on China. Rhetoric aside, the trajectory of the UK-China relationship has changed substantively in a relatively short space of time. In this talk, I identify key developments and explore the reasons behind the sudden shifts. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, key players in global institutions and forums, economic heavyweights, and possessors of considerable power projection capabilities (including nuclear), their bilateral relationship is one of the most significant on the global stage. To understand UK-China relations, we need to consider what both sides want and the relative importance of ties for each. A central contention will be that the UK-China relationship has to be placed in the wider context of EU/Europe-China relations, the transatlantic relationship, and the UK's attempt to construct 'Global Britain' as a viable role for itself in the aftermath of departing from the EU. There is no single factor that provides a satisfactory explanation for recent changes in the relationship, necessitating consideration of the complex interplay between competing perceptions, interests, and values.

October 6, 2021 6:00 PM (JST)

TIU Global Dialogue 13: Tibet Question in China-Ascendant Geopolitics?

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While China-ascendant geopolitics becomes an increasing reality, and the focus in Asia and beyond is on how other states can cooperate, compete, adjust or contain China, what is often missed is the weaponization of emotions, sensitivity, and "hurt" by the Chinese state. Any criticism of China on Uyghurs, Hong Kong, or Tibet leads to a reaction along the lines of "this is our internal affairs", or "this hurts our national sentiments." In this book talk, Prof. Dibyesh Anand will discuss how "hurt", "national humiliation," and "national sensitivity" are politically constructed foreign policy tools for China, arguing that there is a fundamental disjuncture at the heart of modern nation-state project in China. The speaker will describe China as anti-imperialist in its foreign policy rhetoric while being beneficiary and even practitioner, rather than the victim, of imperialism and colonialism.

Finally, Prof. Anand will explain how the modern nation-state of the People's Republic of China is colonial in what it sees as its periphery. With a focus on Tibet, this talk will argue for a critical understanding of China as an emergent global power."

September 22, 2021 5:00 PM (JST)

Global Dialogue 12: Defense Planning and Readiness of North Korea - Armed to Rule

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Hinata-Yamaguchi analyzes North Korea's defense planning by looking at how political, economic, and societal factors affect the Korean People's Army's (KPA) readiness and strategies. He answers four key questions: How have the internal and external factors shaped North Korea's security strategy? How do the political, economic, societal, and environmental factors impact North Korea's defense planning? What are North Korea's defense planning dilemmas and how do they impact the KPA's readiness? What are the key implications for regional security and the strategies against North Korea?

This analysis, drawing on various Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese sources on North Korea and military affairs, will be of great value to strategists and policy analysts as well as scholars of East Asian security issues.

July 7, 2021 9:00 AM (JST)

TIU Global Dialogue 11: Geopolitics and Global Wildlife Trafficking in the 21st Century

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Global wildlife trafficking is a vast illicit industry worth an estimated $57-180 billion per year worldwide, with the true total cost to the global economy of transnational wildlife crime at $1-2 Trillion annually (World Bank). In addition, global wildlife trafficking is a major driver of pandemics, and closely intertwined with transnational organized crime, corruption, and authoritarian regimes.

This talk will explore the geopolitical dimensions of the issue, in particular the role of China, Africa-Asia relations, and the ways in which Transnational Organized Criminal networks influence - and even at times a tool of - international Statecraft.

June 16, 2021 4:00 PM (JST)

TIU Global Dialogue 10: Economic Fallout of the Covid Crisis

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The COVID 19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll on lives and livelihoods everywhere. Emerging economies have been particularly hard hit because of their low-income levels, high population densities, weak medical infrastructure, and limited policy space. Many emerging economies entered the covid crisis with weak economic fundamentals; the crisis has made them weaker. Their governments are struggling to find the resources for expanding their health care facilities, rolling out vaccines, and providing a safety net to the most vulnerable of their populations.

The seminar by Dr. Subbarao will focus on some of the big policy challenges and dilemmas in the short and medium-term confronting emerging market economies as they navigate their way through this unusually sharp health and economic crisis.