Tracing the Contours of a Rapidly Changing East Asia: Issues and Perspectives

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The Japan Studies under the International Studies Department of De La Salle University, together with the Japan Foundation Manila, is honored to invite you to an international conference entitled, “Tracing the Contours of a Rapidly Changing East Asia: Issues and Perspectives,” which will be held on the 10th and 11th of March 2016 at the Muralla Hall of The Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros, Metro Manila.


East Asia’s dynamism is unparalleled. The bigger powers in the region are emerging leaders in contemporary international relations, while the smaller states in Southeast Asia are gearing towards an integrated politico-security, economic, and socio-cultural community under the ASEAN umbrella. Taken together, these entities make up a strong and resilient region that aspires to achieve more. It is this drive, however, that also leads the region to face several challenges. The conference identifies some of these. In tracing the contours of a rapidly changing East Asia, the nuances of international relations – as well as International Relations – therefore become more pronounced. Ultimately, it is in the spaces between these layers that possible solutions to these challenges are found.


The conference considers the emerging trends and main regional issues that beset East Asia. It adopts multi-disciplinary approaches to consider the following three concerns.

First, the conference aims to be introspective of historical and theoretical debates in International Relations and area studies. Doing so is instrumental in understanding and explaining phenomena that include both state and non-state actors, as well as the intricate links between state and civil society. Revisiting the ontological and epistemological foundations of our distinct ways of viewing the world can help us grapple with the complexity of international relations.

As such, the conference’s second objective is to put current issues facing East Asia under a microscope. Examining these issues via nuanced theoretical frameworks and opening them up for discussion are more likely to result in policy relevant analyses. This way, the gap between International Relations and area studies is bridged.

Finally, the conference aims to serve as a venue where academics, practitioners, graduate students, and informed citizens can gather and discuss the issues that are relevant to the regional community. The conference will serve as a platform for dialogue and an exchange of ideas that can benefit all.

The event hopes to offer in-depth analysis and fresh perspectives on how to address the challenges arising from the shifts and changes within the region. Scholars and distinguished researchers from East and Southeast Asia will be presenting papers that explore the impacts of these socio-economic and political transformations.

Please RSVP by February 26, 2016 by visiting this link: or you may also opt to e-mail us. If you have any questions about the event, please don’t hesitate to have your staff contact us by e-mail or through our office landline: 524-4611 loc.545. Our secretariat members (Stephanie, Darren, Raymond or Ron) will be glad to address your questions and concerns.

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