We would like to invite any interested parties to participate in two roundtable proposals for the ISA conference in Hong Kong
next year in June. The two themes are as follows:
Vice President for Research Committees
Formal and Informal Networks in Asia: Opportunities for small and medium powers?
Much theorizing in International Relations, ranging from neorealism, and neoliberalism to Wendt’s constructivism, consciously incorporates assumptions about the agent-structure problem in the social sciences. The parsimony that Waltz advocates is based upon structural-level theorizing rather than agential power, a feature that has carried over to reiterations of neorealism and neoliberalism. On the other hand, an appreciation of the nuances in agents or states is deemed as crucial to theorists such as Moravczik and Wendt. The appropriation of Network Theory into the study and theorizing of International Relations has contributed to our understanding of how agent and structures can be linked by focusing on the relational power of agents within a complex set of relationships or networks across different fields of national interest. The objects of study here are not primarily the attributes or material resources of nation-states, rather their position in a particular network, as well as the opportunities that this offers vis-à-vis other states. This roundtable explores the role of different actors in formal and informal networks in an Asian context and how they navigate through the different power relationships within these networks to achieve particular goals.
President of PhISO
International Relations in Asia: Quo Vadis, Philippine IR?
International Relations has long been featured as a regular course offering or subject in higher education institutions in Asia and in particular, the Philippines. However, despite a number of attempts to utilize regional or national perspectives vis-à-vis Western paradigms and assumptions that dominate IR, these have yet to be widely integrated into curricula or programs of study. The diverse educational landscape of IR in the Philippines and the country’s entanglement in global networks offers possibilities of discussion about what the Philippines has contributed and can contribute to the field of International Relations, and conversely, how IR has been viewed in the Philippines. In this roundtable we aim to discuss the pedagogy and history of IR and its various iterations in Philippine education – international studies, global studies, global politics and so on, as well as what effect that this may have, along with the Philippines’ role in global and regional events, for a Philippine IR theory. Discussions will also revolve around the assumptions of a paradigm that can retain the explanatory power that is so crucial in dominant theories but also incorporates the nuances that make a Philippine IR unique to its context.
You will not have to present a paper, but we hope that those who have already written or done research on each topic can participate.