Venue: Leiden University and Leiden University College, The Hague
Date: Friday 30 – Saturday 31 March 2012

This conference assembles a range of leading European scholars in the international relations of East Asia to rethink how order is understood and constructed in the East Asian region. In particular, participants will be critically engaging with the concept of ‘multi-lineal order’ which comprises the following three characteristics:

(1) the informal and loose ‘network’ type international community‚Äźbuilding prevalent in relations between East Asian states. No single regional hegemon has emerged to direct this order, rather economic leadership is contested between China and Japan, whilst the US is still perceived as a stabilizing security actor. No one institution governs the affairs of the East Asian region, leaving an array of overlapping and competing regional institutions and agreements that enmesh East Asian states in a complex web of functional cooperation spanning a plethora of issues. These institutions remain open to all potential members, creating an order which is diffuse and yet one in which all members have a stake. It is an order requiring compromise and consensus, which analysts have perceived as frustrating, yet it remains both a relatively peaceful and prosperous order.

(2) the multiplicity of actors, channels and processes in this network/community building. It is an order shaped through historical processes of war, colonization, and imperialism that continue to scar relations between East Asian states. States are also only one of the drivers of East Asian regional interconnectivity, with non-state actors, from Multinational Corporations to Municipalities, establishing new transnational links that bind actors together. This emerging multiplicity also challenges, together with point one, the ways in which actors construct international order, particularly in the field of international lawmaking and diplomacy, both of which have been recognized as major building blocks of traditional international society.

(3) the need for multiple schools and strands of IR theory in conceptualizing the international system in East Asia. Making sense of the complexity of East Asian order challenges the tenets of the Western theoretical mainstream, such as a teleological understanding of history or the notion that the EU is a ‘vanguard international society’ for other regions to adopt. Developments in the East Asian region also raise indigenous possibilities for the exploration of ‘non/post-Western’ IR theory that scholars are beginning to tap, such as the concepts of Tian Xia (All Under Heaven), processual constructivism, and a bridge of civilizations. In addition, a ‘multi-lineal’ order presses us to consider values in international relations that go beyond tired Asian-Western dichotomies to embrace and creatively combine alternative worldviews.

As these characteristics highlight, this ‘multi-lineal’ order revolves around a myriad of complex factors and issues that continue to shape developments in the East Asian region. The participants will be exploring these facets of order from theoretical, political, security, and economic perspectives over the two days. The conference begins with a video conferencing session with the participants of a conference on the same theme being held simultaneously in Osaka, Japan, that brings together International Relations experts from East Asia. The conference closes with a roundtable session that seeks to bring together the conclusions of both the participants in Osaka and Leiden.

There are a limited number of places available for audience participants. For this reason, it is necessary to register before Friday 23 March 2011 by registering using this form.
You can view the programme of the conference by clicking on the respective dates. Alternatively, you can download the programme in pdf-format here.
Friday 30 March 2012 9:00 ~ 17:00
9.00-9.15 Registration – Leiden University Green Room

9.15-9.30 Welcome Remarks

9.30-10.30 Session I: Video Conference with OSIPP staff

10.30-10.45 Move to B0.41 KOG Building

10.45-11.15 Coffee Break

11.15-12.45 Session II: Conceptualizing East Asian (Dis)Order
  • Dr. Tineke D'Haeseleer (Leiden University) - Chair/Discussant
    • Dr. Ashizawa Kuniko (Oxford Brookes University) “When Identity Matters: State Identity, Regional Institution-Building, and Japanese Foreign Policy”
    • Dr. Florian Schneider (Leiden University) ”Reconceptualizing East Asian Order – the emergence of a China School”
    • Dr. Lindsay Black (Leiden University) “‘Outlaws’ of East Asian international society”

12.45-14.30 Lunch

14.30-16.00 Session III: Political Order
  • Prof. Chris Goto-Jones (Leiden University College) - Chair/Discussant
    • Dr. Nicola Casarini (European Union Institute for Security Studies) – “China's Europe strategy: implications for the US and East Asia”
    • Ms. Emika Tokunaga (Osaka Univ.) “Disaster Response and International Order in East Asia: Japan's Triple Disaster one year on”
    • Dr. Karl Gustafsson (Lund University) “Dealing with the ‘History Issue’ in Sino-Japanese Relations: Discreetly Negotiating the Content of War Exhibitions”
Saturday 31 March 2012 10:00 ~ 17:00
Stichthage Benoordenhout, Den Haag

10.30-12.00 Session IV: Security Order
  • Dr. Yih-Jye Hwang (Leiden University College) - Chair/Discussant
    • Dr. Ra Mason (Sheffield University) “Japan’s Recalibration of Risk: The Framing of North Korea”
    • Dr. Axel Berkofsky (University of Pavia) “Tokyo’s “National Defense Program Guidelines” (“NDPG”) - What’s Old, What’s New on Japan’s Regional Security and Defense Policy Agenda?”
    • Dr. Elena Atanassova-Cornelis (Catholic University of Leuven & University of Antwerp) “Bipolarity, condominium or something else: US-China security relations and regional order in East Asia”

12:00-13:30 Lunch

13:30-15.00 Session V: Economic Order
  • Dr. Rogier Busser (Leiden University) - Chair/Discussant
    • Prof. Werner Pascha (University of Duisberg-Essen) “'East Asian regionalism in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis”
    • Dr. Maaike Okano-Heijmans (Clingedael Institute, the Hague) “Economic diplomacy in the 21st century: What is new and what is not”
    • Ms. Miseon Kim (Osaka Univ.) “Harmonizing of Private Enforcement of EU Competition Law: Implications for East Asian Economic Order”

15.00-15.30 Coffee Break

15.30-16.30 Roundtable discussion

16.30-16.45 Closing Remarks
For now it is only possible to view the abstracts of the participants in pdf-format by clicking here.
This conference is made possible through the support of :