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EASG Events

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For podcasts, reports and pictures of previous lectures and seminars, click here.

Upcoming events:

6th March 2018 - Prof Kei KOGA, Ph.D., Prof Satoru MORI, Ph.D., Prof Shino WATANABE, Ph.D. 'Indo-Pacific Security Dynamics in the Age of Trump, Xi and Abe', 1330-1500 Milburn House F25a (room to be confirmed).


Kei Koga: “Abe, the Indo-Pacific, and Japan-ASEAN Relations.”
Koga will discuss Abe’s ASEAN policy in the context of the emerging concept of the “Open and Free Indo-Pacific Strategy,” and then analyze the role of ASEAN and the future implication for Japan-ASEAN relations.

Satoru Mori: “Trump, the Indo-Pacific, and Japan-U.S. Relations.”
Mori will first assess Trump administration’s Asia policy as well as the relevance of the 2017 National Security Strategy, and then discuss the outlook for U.S. engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, and examine its implications for Japan’s foreign policy.

Shino Wantanabe: “Xi, the Indo-Pacific, and Japan-China Relations.”
Watanabe will explain Xi’s Asia policy including his pet project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and then examine major challenges and opportunities of China’s rise in the Indo-Pacific region. She will also discuss Japan’s recent policy toward China.

Recent events

  • February 8th 2018 - Chi Zhang, University of Leeds, and Pablo Rodriguez-Merino, The Construction of China's Counterterrorism, S2.77 (social sciences building) 2-4pm.

    Pablo Rodriguez-Merino, will be speaking on the topic: From counterrevolution to terrorism: the politics of naming violence in Xinjiang

    Abstract: China has declared a war on terrorism in Xinjiang, identifying violence in the region as a top security threat. However, what nowadays is officially constructed as terrorism used to be framed as counterrevolution in the past. Informed by the narrative turn in Security Studies, this paper examines the changing nature of the Chinese state framing of violence in Xinjiang. Through a comparative analysis of the discursive construction of the Baren (1990) and Bachu (2013) violent events, I find that the terror lexicon has replaced old narratives of counterrevolution only to legitimize a sustained crackdown under a novel geopolitical context. The construction of violence in Xinjiang as terrorism, I argue, is contingent, limited, and unstable, and it marginalizes factors other than an extremist or separatist agency in the incubation of the violence, notably the frictions derived from the very crackdown implemented to placate the unrest.

    Chi Zhang will be speaking on the topic of: “Make Terrorists Like Rats Scurrying across a Street”: How has the CCP constructed its counter-terrorism strategy?'

    Abstract: This paper discusses the “mass line” approach in China’s counter-terrorism strategy. Based on Mao Zedong’s political thoughts and the increasing awareness of “human security” in contemporary Chinese political discourse, the “mass line” approach provides a basis for understanding the level of engagement of the public in the counter-terrorism practice in China. This paper argues that a cooperative relationship between the state and society on counter-terrorism was made possible by reshaping the pre-existing “Us and Them” dichotomy within the Chinese society. In doing so, the government reproduced the counter-terrorism discourse in which the external “hostile forces” are constructed as the masterminds behind terror attacks and the reasons for the persistence of terrorism in China. This paper adopts frame analysis to investigate the ways in which the official counter-terrorism discourse is reproduced in the process of interaction among the state media, the public and the external “hostile forces”, based on the analysis of two case studies. The case studies demonstrate how the highly centralised and state-centric counter-terrorism strategy is tempered by human-oriented security principle. By anchoring their counter-terrorism discourse in the pre-existing “Us and Them” dichotomy, the political elites have effectively cast the Communist Party as the legitimate defender of the Socialist ideals and their political opponents as the “hostile forces”.

  • January 19th 2018 - Prof Timo Kivimaki, University of Bath, and Prof Chung-in Moon, Special Advisor to President Moon, 'East Asian Security' E202, 1030-1200 (tea and coffee from 1015am, start time 1030pm)
  • January 12th 2018 - Dr Sara Davies, Griffith University’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy 'Myanmar Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement: enabling and constraining factors on women’s inclusion', S1.66, 10:00 - 12:00
  • January 9th 2018 - Agatha Kratz, (paper co-authored with Dragan Pavlićević) European Council on Foreign Affairs and Kings College London, 'Learning at high-speed: China’s three-pronged learning curve in the international high-speed rail sector' E202 Social Sciences Building, 2-4pm (tea and coffee from 2pm, start time 2.10pm)  
  • Abstract: Since 2009, and with yet more vigour since 2013, China has been looking to export its newly acquired high-speed rail capabilities. To do so, it initially relied on a one-size-fits-all model combining low-cost and competitive quality with substantial diplomatic and financial backing. But faced with mounting difficulties in terms of HSR sale, negotiations and delivery, China has had to learn from experience and modify its export model accordingly. We aim to show that these difficulties have taken China on a three-pronged learning curve. First, China is learning to refine and adapt its offer to host country requirements. Second, China is learning to better align its own players’ interests (namely companies, policy bank, and government officials). Finally, China is trying to improve its image – both at the company and at the state level – all to increase its chances of winning HSR contracts abroad. Relying on insights from the business and developmental literature, this article aims to show that not only are Chinese companies learning to internationalize more efficiently, but so is China’s state.
  • November 28th 2017, 5pm S150 (Social Sciences building) Discussion Group led by Wai Hong Tang on China's regional relations. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be avialable. This is a good opportunity to hear about Wai Hong's research and get to know other people working on East Asia in the department.
  • November 14th 2017 - Networking and discussion meeting. In order to get the new year off to a good start and make sure the EASG is developing events that will support you in your research, the PhD team are holding a drinks and discussion session at 5pm in E202. There will be refreshments including cake and a chance to put forward ideas and suggestions for what the EASG should look like in 2017/18.
  • Friday 13th October - PAIS/IAS Guest Speaker - Prof Helen Nesadurai (Monash Malaysia Campus) 'Private Sustainability Standards, the Market and Public Authority in Global Governance' Room S1.50 11am
    My presentation focuses on the central problem of transnational private governance—the matter of governing “at a distance” through the market and producing change in local sites when such rule systems are not mandated or authorised by governments in these sites. Drawing on various literatures – the politics of scale, global production networks, and assemblage ‘theory’– and using the empirical case of sustainable palm oil, I argue that non-state regulatory entrepreneurs adopt globalising strategies that rescale key governance targets to sites more amenable to voluntary private governance away from the constraints imposed by national and multilateral governance. Global supply chains are crucial to rescaling governance to the transnational scale. However, fragmented supply chains and inadequate attention to segments of the supply chain deeply embedded in local sites of palm oil production create gaps in governance, requiring various corrective localising strategies. An important dynamic also seen in the palm oil case is the emergence of consultants and experts independent of the transnational governance scheme in question who help to enrol new participants into its ambit. Through technical and financial advisory and brokering services, these actors are part of the wider assemblage of actors whose work consolidates private governance, including by enrolling small farmers previously neglected by the globalising strategy but central to producing sustainable palm oil.
  • Thursday 22nd June, 2-4pm, E2.02. Using the concept of middle powers: potential and pitfalls?

    A different kind of event: We are trialling a discussion/seminar type event around a theme that intersects with a number of people's topics for their PhDs. The discussion will be centred around the themes and questions listed below. We will aim to have around 30mins of discussion on each theme. For this discussion, we have invited Dr Tom Long to join us as he will be joining the department permanently in September and works on Small/Middle Powers in a Latin American context.
    Conceptual Challenges: What are the problems with the concept of middle powers? Can it be analytically helpful in a world where the majority of states could be considered to be middle powers? Does it help to sub-divide middle powers into 'traditional' and 'emerging' are these terms conceptually distinct?
    What are the essential elements of being a middle power and what are the supplementary determinants? Methodological Challenges: What are the methodological problems and can they be addressed? Empirical Questions: How can it be successfully used in a research project? Are middle powers contingent on US hegemony? In an Asian context who are the middle powers?

  • Monday 22nd May: Counselor Lee, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the UK, 'North Korean Issues and the Current Situation in the Republic of Korea' S150 (social sciences building), 12noon.

  • Thursday 11th May: Joint IPE/ EASG Seminar on 'Internationalization of the RMB (case studies from London and Frankfurt)' 11-1300 in E202 (Social Sciences Building) with Dr Ramon Pacheco Pardon (Kings) a draft paper will be available one week in advance - please email Cath for a copy.
  • Wednesday 15th March 2017: Joint event with the Departmental Seminar Series: 'CORRUPTING BORDERS: Navigating ‘illegality’ and ‘deportability’ in Malaysia and Greece' by Dr. Anja Karlsson Franck (University of Gothenburg), 3-4.30, S2.77
  • Tuesday 28th February - 4pm - S150 - Discussion group - PhD projects presentations
  • Wednesday 22nd February - 2pm - E202 - Discussion group - PhD projects presentations
  • Tuesday 14th February - 4pm - S150 - Discussion Group - PhD projects presentations
  • Tuesday 7th February 2017: Joint event with the PAIS Film Club: I am Sun Mu, 6pm PLT (Science Concourse)
  • Friday 27th January: "'Building Back Better' in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda: Shelter and Resilience" by Dr. Pauline Eadie (Nottingham University), 12noon-1330pm, E202, Tea, coffee, and biscuits will be provided from 12noon, the talk will begin about 1210pm. Full paper as well as the data from the project available here.
  • Wed, 7th December: Joint event with the Departmental Seminar Series: 'Xi Jinping, Nuclear Norms and the Global Order' by Dr Nicola Leveringhaus (Kings’ College London), 3-4.30pm, S2.77
  • Tue, 29th November: Joint event with PAIS film club - Free documentary screening of 'Vibrant Highland, Commercial Love' followed by discussion/Q&A, from 7pm, room L5 (Science/Chemistry concourse) . Donations welcome to the independent film production company.

    This fascinating documentary explores the relationship between tradition/culture, ethnic tourism and state power in Vietnam's impoverished northern highlands. Through the lens of an independent filmmaker, the state's power to reach into everyday life - propaganda, exoticising ethnic 'others', restricting research in 'politically sensitive' areas - are exposed in a captivating way.

  • Fri, 18th November: ‘Unpacking Contentious Politics: Southeast Asian Fieldwork Experiences’ by Professor Duncan McCargo (University of Leeds), starting at 11:15, tea and coffee available from 11am in room S2.77 Cowling Room (Social Sciences building).
  • Thu, 27 October: 'Modern Origins of China’s South China Sea Claim' by Bill Hayton (BBC), 12:15-1:30pm (tea and coffee available from 12noon), Milburn House, F25A.
  • Wed, 12 October: EASG PhD welcome event at The Dirty Duck, from 4:30pm onwards. Please come and say hello!

Past events

Select a heading for further information about previous events, including the chairperson, recommended readings, and other relevant information.