1st PHISO keynote speaker: Andreas Herberg-Rothe

PHISO is very honored to have Dr. phil. habil. Andreas Herberg-Rothe as one of the keynote speakers for the 3rd international conference on November 09-10, 2019 in Cebu City. To register for the conference, click here. July 31, 2019 is the deadline of registration.


Dr. phil. habil. Andreas Herberg-Rothe is a senior lecturer at the university of applied sciences, Fulda (since 2009) and formerly at the Institute for Social Sciences, Humboldt-University Berlin (up to 2012). He is teaching and doing research in the department of “Violence and Peace in World Society”. He was an associate of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme “The changing character of War” (2004-2005) and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Centre for International Studies (2005-2006).

He is the author of “Clausewitz’s Puzzle: The Political Theory of War” (Oxford University Press, 2007). In July 2014, he has convened an international symposium in Tokyo about “Lessons from 1914 for the rise of Asia” and published the proceedings in 2015. He published his latest book together with Key-young Son: “Order wars and floating balance. How the rising powers are reshaping our world view in the twenty-first century” (Routledge, 2017).


Dr. phil. habil. Andreas Herberg-Rothe will talk about “Concentric circles and billiard games: Rethinking the relation of theory and practice in IRT.”

The keynote speech introduces the concept of a floating (Clausewitz) and developing (Hegel) balance of contrasts in International Relations Theory (IRT), which Confucius understood as harmony (unity with difference and difference in unity). Since the peace of Westphalia, the mainstream IRT viewed international relations as a kind of a billiard game and variations within this concept were associated with a different understanding of the billiard game. For example, realism is concerned with mutual repulsion and enmity, whereas liberal institutionalism emphasizes attraction and peaceful competition. The East Asian understanding of international affairs rejects this compartmentalization and adopts a holistic approach. Particularly, they differ over the relationship between center and periphery, thus envisioning the various layers and circles of relationship.

Our approach is grounded in liminality as a reflection of the contemporary world besieged by ambiguity or disorientation after the collapse of the post-Cold War order. The West has been in an irreversible decline, but the new powers have yet to hold a hegemonic status and most importantly to inject ideas by their own in IRT. The task therefore is to introduce local and regional practices into global IR which is only possible by elaborating a different understanding of theory – such a floating balance is able to reject cultural relativism and simultaneously the mere abstract Western concepts.


To join the conference, click here for details. You can participate either by presenting your research work or just observing/listening to the presentations.

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