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East Asia Study Group

The University of Warwick East Asia Study Group (EASG) is a research and study group focused on the politics and international relations of the East Asian region. We aim to encourage discussion and investigation of the paradoxical challenges the East Asian region poses to traditional IR theories: why does a developed state like Japan eschew a regional security role and constrain its own military; why has China, the world’s second largest economy, enjoyed such success without adopting free market or liberal principles; and why is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations seemingly disinterested in federalisation and continues to emphasise the sovereignty of its individual members? These paradoxes challenge traditional interpretations of security, economic development, multilateralism, national identity and many more besides.

The EASG invites researchers from within and beyond the university to present on issues related to these paradoxical challenges, not only deepening understanding of an often under-analysed region, but also encouraging reflection on broader theoretical debates whose interpretive frameworks can close off avenues of investigation. By challenging traditional theories through investigating this under-analysed region, we aim to contribute to the ongoing decolonisation of the curriculum and welcome those who wish to contribute to this effort.

Core Aims

  • To be a platform for early career researchers interested in studying East Asia.
  • To be a symposium which raises the visibility of debates on East Asian international relations and helps advance these debates.
  • To be a vehicle for challenging Eurocentric interpretations and decolonising the curriculum.

EASG Coordinator: Max Warrack, the PAIS Teaching Fellow in International Relations and Japanese Studies.

EASG Social Events Coordinator: Veronica Barfucci, PAIS PhD Researcher


  • Research Seminars: We invite researchers from outside the university to present and answer questions on their research related to East Asia. Given our regional focus, our speakers come from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds, so they will also be of interest to colleagues whose research lies outside East Asia.
  • Informal Discussion Programme: An early career researcher or colleague presents on a topic related to their research as a launch-pad for a broader discussion in a seminar environment; not a typical conference style-Q&A. The purpose is to provide an informal discursive space where students have the opportunity to learn about new topics; colleagues and students have the opportunity to exchange ideas; and colleagues have the opportunity to 'road test' an idea for a future paper, article or book.
  • EASG Current Affairs Refresh: Events will focus on major current developments in (East) Asia. The event aims to bring together BA, MA, and PhD students, as well as academic staff. Everybody is welcomed, and you don’t need to be an expert in the area!
  • MA Thesis Review: An annual event aimed at taught postgraduate students who are considering doing their MA dissertation on a topic related to the study of East Asia. A panel of PhD researchers will ask questions based on an abstract and a short talk, providing feedback; giving a new perspective; and encouraging reflection on the proposal, before the formal process. In addition, it provides an early experience of the academic review process for any students considering future research beyond their MA. This year's will be held at the Ramphal Building as an all-day event on Wednesday 24th January 2024. Please contact for more information, or visit its webpage here.

Next Event:

EASG-IRS talk: Dr. Nicola Leveringhaus on the Politics of Nuclear Commemoration in Asia: the China case

Date: Wednesday, 1st May 2024

Time: 13:15-14:30

Venue: R1.03, Ramphal Building

If you have a suggestion for a research seminar speaker, would like to volunteer to host an informal discussion, or have questions about the EASG, please contact

Join our mailing list

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Upcoming events

View past and upcoming events hereLink opens in a new window.

Seminar Archive

View recordings of past research seminars here.