PSA Pacific Asia Politics Specialist Group Workshop
Elite Politics under the Spotlight; Whither Thailand?
13th January 2011, London School of Economics and Politics
co-sponsored by LSE Ideas, Centre for study of international affairs, diplomacy and grand strategy
Read the blog here (archived under January 2011 on the site)
PSA Pacific Asia Politics Specialist Group Workshops:
Civil Society in East and Southeast Asia: Understanding the Local Impact of the Global Promotion of Civil Society'
14th January 2010, The University of Bristol, Department of Politics, Institute for Advanced Study
Co-sponsored by Bristol University's Bristol-Mekong Project, Centre for East Asian Studies, and Vice-Chancellor's Initiative Fund.
Click here for the conference programme.
Citizenship and Diaspora in Comparative Perspective
15th January 2010, University of Manchester Politics department
Co-sponsored by the University of Manchester's Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.
This workshop led to a special issue of the Journal of Nationalism and Ethnic Politics entitled Diaspora and Citizenship, edited by Elena Barabantseva and Claire Sutherland, forthcoming 2011
For more details of the workshop itself, see 2009 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report
The Pacific-Asia Specialist Group has had another successful year holding a workshop in London, co-hosted with LSE Ideas, and convening a panel at the 60th anniversary PSA annual conference. We have also continued to build our e-list of scholars interested in Pacific-Asia politics and kept our website regularly updated.
The workshop in London was on the theme of Thai politics ahead of the general election widely anticipated for 2011 and a turbulent political year. Speakers included Professor Duncan McCargo, who is Professor of Southeast Asian politics at the University of Leeds, and Professor Peter Leyland, Professor of Public Law at London Metropolitan University. Both are renowned Thai specialists. The event was co-chaired by Dr Martin Gainsborough (representing the Pacific-Asia specialist group) and Dr Eva-Lotta Hedman (representing LSE Ideas). Underlining the value of holding such events in London, turn-out was very good indeed with a mixed academic and government/diplomatic audience numbering around 40-50 people. Given the success of the event, we are considering further collaborative ventures with LSE Ideas, who also have a particular interest in Asian politics.
The panel held at the 60th anniversary PSA annual conference in Edinburgh was on East Asian security. Chaired by the group’s co-convenor Claire Sutherland, it featured complementary papers on Sino-Japanese security by Dr. Elena Atanassova-Cornelis of the Universities of Leuven and Antwerp, and on Japan’s relations with India by Vicky Tuke, a PhD researcher from Warwick University. Dr. Elena Barabantseva of Manchester University closed the presentations with a study of China’s attempts to reach out to its diaspora communities as part of its nation-building strategy. This was followed by a short intervention from Claire Sutherland as discussant and a lively and thought-provoking discussion of East Asian security issues, which also provided supportive feedback on Vicky Tuke’s dissertation project. The two other panel presenters will contribute to a special issue of the journal East Asia due out in late 2011,to be reviewed and edited by members of the Pacific-Asia group.
Our plans for 2011, which are reflected in our funding application for 2010, include hosting a panel at the 2011 PSA annual conference in London and holding a workshop on the politics of developmental interventions in some of the poorer Pacific-Asia states (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma/Myanmar). The panel, which has been accepted by the organisers of PSA London, is titled ‘Nation-Building in China and Vietnam’, and includes three papers and a discussant. The workshop is scheduled to take place in London in September 2011, and will involve a mixture of academics and practitioners, new and established scholars.
Dr Martin Gainsborough and Dr Claire Sutherland
PSA Pacific Asia Politics Specialist Group Workshop
China Engages Asia: Regional Perceptions, Regional Responses
January 14, 2009, Institute of Advanced Studies, Milburn House, University of Warwick
Virtually every aspect of China’s recent history seems to deserve the epithet, “remarkable”. So to say that China’s engagement of the Asian region is “remarkable” probably doesn’t convey quite how much things have changed. In an era when some are suggesting (and perhaps fearing) a new regional order built on China’s engagement of Southeast Asia, it is worth reminding ourselves how new this is. Until fairly recently, this relationship was characterised by distrust and sometimes outright hostility on both sides. China didn’t even have diplomatic relations with a number of regional states until the early 1990s, perceived ASEAN as a natural ally of the USA and therefore a potential challenge to Chinese interests, and had the occasional military stand-off with regional states over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. Moreover, China shied away from engaging in multilateral regional organisations. Yet today, China is promoting itself as a force for peace, stability and growth in the region, is a major economic partner for other regional states, and is actively engaged in promoting its preferred form of regional integration. The creation of a Sinocentric regional order is far from certain, and indeed is opposed by many, but is nevertheless a distinctly possible potential outcome of current trends of political and economic interactions. The purpose of this workshop, however, is not to consider changing Chinese policy (or at least, not beyond a single paper that provides an overview of the changes and contemporary Chinese agendas). Rather, it seeks to consider how these initiatives and agendas are perceived and responded to in the region itself, and what this could mean for the future of regional security and regional integration.
The following papers were presented:
- Shaun Breslin (Warwick) China’s Regional Rise: Ideas, Initiatives and Implications
- Evelyn Goh (Oxford/RHUL) Evaluating China's Ideational Power in Southeast Asia
- Martin Gainsborough (Bristol) The Vietnamese Response
Jurgen Haacke (LSE) Myanmar’s ambivalence about China
- David Kerr (Durham) Problems of China’s strategic emergence – Russian perspectives
- Shabana Fayyaz (Quaid-I-Azam, Islamabad) South Asian Responses: India vs Pakistan
- Michael Schiffer (Stanley Foundation) The US response
- Chris Hughes (Warwick) The Japanese response
Convenors: Shaun Breslin, University of Warwick
Martin Gainsborough, University of Bristol
Chris Hughes, University of Warwick
2009 Annual Report
The Pacific-Asia Specialist Group has had an active year as it has continued to pursue its twin goals of combining the best of political science with a commitment to the area studies tradition. The high point of the year has been the holding of two workshops, one in Bristol and the other in Manchester.
The Bristol workshop focused on the politics of civil society in East and South East Asia with papers on Burma, China, Cambodia, Taiwan, Vietnam as well as a pan-East Asian and a pan-South East Asian paper. Presenters came from as far away as Australia and Vietnam while there was also representation from Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, the London School of Economics, Nottingham and Swansea. Two of the participants are now working towards producing a journal special issue incorporating a number of the papers.
The Manchester workshop explored the theme of diaspora and citizenship, something which has great resonance in Pacific-Asia. The workshop brought together eleven scholars representing a range of disciplines across social science and humanities from Greece, Israel, USA, Russia, France, and Great Britain. The papers were all concerned with better understanding the articulations of the regimes of citizenship from the perspective of the link between the sending state and its diasporic communities abroad. The workshop organisers are also exploring the possibility of producing a journal special issue. The workshops included a mixture of established scholars, new PhDs, and PhD students.
The group organised a panel at the 2009 PSA annual conference in Manchester, which looked at Pacific Asian citizenship in comparative perspective. It showcased a fascinating range of approaches to the topic, including post-structuralism and constructivism . The panel organised for the Edinburgh conference in 2010 will focus on East Asian security, with papers on human security in China, Japanese security cooperation with India and Japanese security and International Relations frameworks again promising to provide varied and interesting perspectives on the theme.
During 2009, we have also continued to expand our e-list of scholars interested in Pacific-Asia politics and kept our website regularly updated. In addition, we have drafted a constitution in line with changes to PSA rules governing the operations of specialist groups.
Our plans for 2010, which are reflected in our funding application for 2010, include co-hosting a workshop with the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at Durham University looking at political change in Pacific-Asia’s one-party and dominant party states. The workshop is scheduled to take place in Durham in September 2010. Once again, we are keen to involve a mixture of new and established scholars in our activities.
Annual Report for 2008 (including workshop details)
Our activities in 2008 began with the hosting of two panels at the PSA conference in Swansea in April on globalisation and the state in Asia and on the developmental state (co-sponsored with the Development Politics specialist group.) For the former panel, this included a paper by Dr Tim Beal from the University of Wellington on North Korea. Professor Nicola Phillips from Manchester was discussant. Both panels were received well and in some cases have led to individual publications.
In January 2009, we held our annual workshop at University of Warwick looking at regional perceptions of and responses to China’s rise. The workshop sparked a lot of interest both from established scholars and PhD students (we were about twenty five on the day). Papers were presented by Shaun Breslin (Warwick); Chris Hughes (Warwick); Kerry Brown (Chatham House); Martin Gainsborough (Bristol); Jurgen Haacke (LSE); Evelyn Goh (Oxford/RHUL); Shabana Fayyaz (Quaid-I-Azam, Islamabad); David Kerr (Durham). We are currently exploring publication by way of a special issue of journal.
During 2008, we have also continued to expand our e-list of scholars interested in Pacific-Asia politics and kept our website regularly updated. Moreover, we have continued to note widespread support for the Pacific-Asia Politics specialist group with one scholar in the field describing our foundation in 2007 as “much welcome and long overdue”.
Our plans for 2009, which are reflected in our funding application for 2009, include hosting two workshops; one looking at diaspora, migration, transnationalism in Pacific-Asia, and the other focusing on the politics of civil society in Pacific-Asia. The first workshop is scheduled for September 2009 and the second for January 2010.