Organization for Regional and Inter-regional StudiesWaseda University


【Seminar report Nov.22& Nov.24, 2018】The European Union and Japan in a Fluid Global Liberal Order:

  • Date & Time
    Thursday, 22 November, 2018/ 13:00~16:15
    Saturday, 24 November, 2018/ (13:00~14:45 Closed session) 15:00~16:45
  • Venue
    Conference room 710, Building #19, Waseda Campus, Waseda University (11/22)
    Conference room 558, Building #9, Waseda Campus, Waseda University (11/24)
  • Language
  • Organizers
    Waseda Institute for British Studies
    JSPS Core-to-Core (C2C) Programme, A. Advanced Research Networks “The European Union and Japan in a Fluid Global Liberal Order: Establishing an Inter-Regional Studies Centre”
  • Schedule


The European Union and Japan in a Fluid Global Liberal Order: Diffusion of Liberal Norms and Inter-Regional Studies

Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Comparative Regionalism: Human Development in Achieving the SDGs, Leaving No One Behind

This seminar aimed to deepen the understanding and advance research on how human development can be effectively achieved through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with two panels specified on Education and Human Rights.

In the Panel 1 “Education for Sustainable Development in an Era of Globalization”, Professor Kazuo Kuroda (Waseda University) introduced an overview of global governance in the education filed with focus on three different approaches of the governance. In his presentation, he shed light on the case of Inclusive Education and Multilayered Structure of Asian Regional Frameworks. Professor Emannuele Bribosia (Université libre de Bruxelles) introduced International and European dynamics in fostering inclusive higher education from a legal perspective. In her presentation, she highlighted the integrated approach of the right to inclusive education and presented two case studies of strategic litigation as illustration. Finally, Mr. Frederik Ponjaert (Université libre de Bruxelles) gave a presentation on his research on European higher education regionalism and its focus on the Bologna Process in comparison with other regions. He introduced the singular systematic toolkit for investigating regionalism and an integrated matrix to make comparisons in higher education between Europe and others.

In the Panel 2 “Human Rights of Vulnerable People in Achieving the SDGs”, Professor Paul Bacon (Waseda University) reviewed three main strands of norm diffusion theories and offered a preliminary sketch of a consolidated methodology by putting together elements from each of the three strands in a hybrid model. Then, he introduced his case study of Thailand by applying this model. Ms. Elisa Narminio (Waseda University/ Université libre de Bruxelles) shared her research findings from a case study of Thailand on the topic of human/children trafficking. Finally, Professor Yasushi Katsuma (Waseda University) provided an analytical view on Human Rights Governance from Comparative Regional Perspectives. He introduced several puzzles found in the creation of ASEAN sub-regional human rights mechanism and examined his five hypotheses.

In each panel, active discussions among the panelists and participants were followed after the presentations. Through the presentations and open discussions, this seminar provided valuable opportunities to consider these two subthemes from comparative regionalism perspectives.

Saturday, 24 November, 2018

EU-Japan Economic and Strategic Partnership Agreements in a Fluid Global Liberal Order

ORIS organized a closed session on the EU-Japan Economic and Strategic Partnership Agreements―two agreements which have recently been signed and are awaiting ratification. Chaired by prof. Nakamura Hidetoshi, the session featured presentations by three leading experts covering the making and current state of said agreements as well as their future trajectories and expected impact on the wider regional and international order.
The session started off with a talk by Mr. Mitsuhiko Iyota who as Deputy Director of the European Policy Division of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs was largely involved with the negotiations on the EU-Japan SPA. After briefly touching upon the background of the EU-Japan EPA and SPA, Mr. Iyota explained the benefits the Japanese government expects to derive from this major step forward in the enhancement of relations between the EU and Japan and how it seeks to explain these to the Japanese public at large.
The baton was subsequently passed on to prof. Takashi Terada from Doshisha University whose presentation aimed to identify the factors which led to the consolidation of the current-day EU-Japan economic alliance. Putting forward a threefold argument grounded in theories of alliance formation, prof. Terada found that (1) a common threat, (2) shared values and common domestic systems, and (3) a collective level of threat perception propelled the making of the EU-Japan EPA. In conclusion, prof. Terada not only expressed the hope that the EU-Japan EPA can serve as a model for high-standard rule setting in the Asia-Pacific, but also stressed that it should act as a springboard for a multilateral rather than a bilateral approach in the EU’s dealings with Asia.
Mr. Frederik Ponjaert from the Université Libre de Bruxelles concluded the session with a talk centered on the three questions of “Quo Veni? Quo Sum? Quo Vadis” with regard to the EU-Japan EPA. As such, Mr. Ponjaert succinctly analysed the background drivers and institutional constraints which shaped the agreement. Subsequently, he covered the content of the EPA and most interestingly compared these with other trade agreements the EU concluded with Canada, South Korea, and Singapore. Finally, Mr. Ponjaert eloquently laid out the “knowns” and “unkowns” standing in the way of the ratification and implementation of the agreement, thereby giving a glimpse of what we can expect in the months ahead.

History/Memory and Reconciliation from Comparative Regionalism Perspectives

Prof. Nakamura Hidetoshi’s JSPS Core-to-Core (C2C) Programme hosted three researchers from Waseda University and two of its core partner universities in a seminar dealing with history, memory, and reconciliation in Europe and East Asia. As such, the seminar brought together young, promising scholars who are each working on separate but interconnected subjects, thereby also strengthening the existing research networks between the institutions involved.
Dr. Emi Kato from Waseda University opened the seminar with a presentation exploring the possible roles of movies as conduits for reconciliation in East Asia. Kato’s research is part of a larger JSPS-funded research project centered on reconciliation studies which aims to explore the “political, legal, social and cultural conditions that make possible reconciliation in East Asia”. By identifying relevant Japanese movies, Kato intends to draw up a list which can then in turn be used to compare similarities and differences with movies released in other countries in the region. Being in the early stages of her research, Kato introduced her research design―amply illustrated by a number of examples―and a summary of her preliminary findings.
The next presentation, given by Dr. Chenchen Zhang from the the Université Libre de Bruxelles, centered around a comparison of right-wing populist movements in the ‘West’ and China, or more correctly the Chinese cyberspace. After reviewing populist discourses in Western societies, Zhang moved on to discuss similar discourses in Chinese social media. Most interestingly, Zhang found that Chinese netizens’ discussions on social media platforms are characterized by attacks against the ‘white left’―or biazhou in Chinese―which combines certain characteristics of Western right-wing populism with purified claims of Chinese history.
The final talk was given by Dr. Anastasiya Bayok from the Freie Universität Berlin discussing the politics of historical memories and identity in Russia and their reflection in Russo-German relations. After reviewing the development and usage of memory politics by the Russian political establishment since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Bayok meticulously and critically analysed its core features. In the concluding part of her presentation, Bayok compared the Russian case with memory politics in Germany. Ending on a positive note, she found that Russia’s memory policy and historical references to World War Two in official discourses did not constitute an impediment in current Russo-German relations.

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