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●Feb 11 2017●Second Afrasian International Symposium


Phase 3

The 2nd Afrasian International Symposium


Subjectivity in International Relations

How Can IR Theory Make Sense of Identity and Geopolitics?


      【Date】11 February 2017  Sat. 10:00~17:00  (Open9:30)

      【Venue】Wagenkan buiding 202 (3F), Fukakusa Campus

                                          Ryukoku University


※Enter Free and Entry Free / Language: English

※This symposium is cooperated by the following organizations.

 ・Afrasian Research Centre, Ryukoku University 

 ・Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, 

  Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

 This Symposium is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15H01855.


国際シンポジウム ポスター最終最終案.jpgのサムネール画像




Keynote Speaker

Chih-yu Shih (Professor, National Taiwan University)



Alan Chong (Associate Professor, Nanyang Technological University)

Atsuko Watanabe (Ph.D, Post Doctral Research Fellow, The University of Warwick)

Ching-Chang Chen (Associate Professor, Ryukoku University)

Eiichi Hoshino (Professor, University of the Ryukyus)

Hitomi Koyama (Ph.D, Johns Hopkins University)

Jungmin Seo (Professor, Yonsei University)

Kosuke Shimizu (Professor, Ryukoku University)

Yasukatsu Matsushima (Professor, Ryukoku University)




10:0010:10 Opening Remarks 
Prof. Kosuke Shimizu

(Director of the Afrasian Research Centre, Professor of Faculty of International Studies in Ryukoku Univ.)
10:1011:30 Keynote Speech
Prof. Chih-yu Shih

Teaching Asia for the West

11:3012:30 Lunch
12:3014:30 Panel Discussion 1 「Politics of Subjectivity
Associate Professor. Alan Chong

Appealing to Humane Capitalism? Comparing Early and Late Globalizing Asia via Tomé Pires’ Suma Oriental (1515) and Mahathirist Thought (1969-2008)
Dr. Hitomi Koyama
“We, the People”: On the Necessary and Inadequate State of Identity in Post-Postwar Japan
Prof. Jungmin Seo
Indigenization of International Relation Theories in Korea and China
Prof. Kosuke Shimizu
「Beyond West and the Rest: Intelectual Tradition of Japanese Philosophy」


14:30~14:50 Coffee Break
14:50~16:50 Panel Discussion 2 
「Politics of Subjectivity

Dr. Atsuko Watanabe
A Borderless Territory? Daitoa Chiseigaku and its Geopolitical Imagination

Mr. Ching-Chang Chen

From the Margins of Nation-State to the Forefront of an Asia-Pacific Century? Okinawa-Taiwan Relations Revisited
Prof. Eiichi Hoshino 
Two level games and intergovernmental relations in a postcolonial complex: the case of Okinawa
Prof. Yasukatsu Matsushima
Why Is the Pursuit of Asian IR Inseparable from the Independence of Ryukyu? On the Necessity of Liberating Ryukyu from the Japan-US Security Alliance


16:5017:00 Closing Remarks


Outline of the Symposium】

   East Asian IR has been dominated by the Westphalian language, which has mainly consisted of power and domination, strict boundaries and nation-states. Ever since the arrival of Western Imperial powers, countries in the region, willingly or not, had to adopt the ideas of nation-state and modern bureaucratic system of administration. It affected not only the way countries were organised, but also how the peoples in the region perceived the world. The world was divided into compartmentalized pieces demarcated by state boundaries. 

   Despite the strong power of the Westphalian language over local population, there are calls for new ways of perceiving the world differently from within the region. In some cases it appears in the form of government official’s co-option of local intellectuals, in other cases as a spontaneous movement to overcome the defects of contemporary IR theories, which appear incompetent in dealing with, and perhaps even contribute to, various regional, cultural, historical and religious conflicts. 

   It is not an exaggeration that the main problem of contemporary IR emanates from the widely accepted subjectivity of IR, that is, nation-states as the only most important actor of world politics. In fact, the very beginning of IR as a social science advocated by such figures as E.H. Carr and Hans Morgenthau was preoccupied with the relations of nation-states. As such, IR is based on a strict demarcation of subject and object and the positivist methodology and epistemology; indeed, it has exclusively focused on the inside/outside dichotomy (Walker 1992). In other words, mainstream IR theories presuppose autonomous and independent subjects whose characteristics are determined a priori. 

   Recent development of East Asian IR questions this pre-given identity of actors, and emphasises relationality and flexibility of the subject. This in turn opens up the possibility of more dynamic configuration of agents of world politics, and leads us to focus on the processes and inter-relations of agents concerned. 

   This symposium tackles the question of subjectivity in IR by critically questioning the prevailing and dominant image of subject of IR, and strives to promote a new vision of its normative configuration.