Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies早稲田大学 大学院アジア太平洋研究科


Inter-regionalism: The EU and the Asia-Pacific


European Union, Free and Open Indo-Pacific, human rights, connectivity


Paul Bacon教授 (国際学術院)


With regard to research purpose, there are two main research strands I would like to investigate through this research centre. The first is the significance and role of the EU as an international actor in the Indo-Pacific region. The second is the EU’s diffusion of human rights and regulatory norms in the Indo-Pacific region. Both of these issues are emerging, and both are under-researched.


Studying these research issues is significant because the emerging competitive dynamic between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific is perhaps the most important in international relations. As an EU scholar, it is imperative for me to research the ways in which the EU can position itself as an actor in the region. Many of the EU’s most important allies have an Indo-Pacific presence, and a very significant proportion of EU trade is with the region. Also, research on the role of the EU as a normative power in the region is underdeveloped. I recently published an article in a high-impact journal, Journal of Common Market Studies, identifying a new methodology for analyzing human rights diffusion. I want to use this model to analyze new cases of attempted EU human rights norm diffusion in the region.


In terms of management method, I will create a mail list for research centre members, and share information regarding research planning. (The other centre members are heavily involved in one of the books that will be produced by the project). The centre would look to hold in-person and/or online research workshops as part of the process to produce original research on the EU and the Indo-Pacific. These workshops would each feature 3-4 research presentations, discussants, and detailed academic feedback. Senior scholars from Europe would be invited to participate. I also have other funds which can also be used together with possible funding awards from WIAPS for holding research events. Information about these events would be widely circulated within GSAPS, and within the wider scholarly community. Participation in online events would be advertised broadly on an inclusive basis.

Tentative plan:

September 2021: workshop on EU norm diffusion in Thailand

March 2022: workshop on the EU, India and FOIP


In terms of expected results with regard to events, assuming that the COVID-19 situation settles down, I would hope and expect to hold at least two research workshops within Japan. I would likely apply for funding when I organize these events. If it is not possible to travel, I would hold these events online. In terms of expected academic results, over the next couple of years I will publish two more journal articles. I have just had book proposals accepted, to publish a monograph on the EU and the Indo-Pacific, and an edited volume on norm diffusion and the SDGs with Routledge




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