On Friday, February 28th, 2020 the 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI*) hosted its first-ever “Japan and the World” academic manuscript workshop. Four leading Japan experts from across the country convened at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies (HLS) to present and receive critical feedback on academic works-in-progress analyzing contemporary Japanese foreign policy.
Each working paper was the subject of a dedicated session designed to provide the paper’s author with critical feedback from an assigned IU-based discussant and an audience of roughly a dozen faculty and students. The workshop itself was book-ended by a networking lunch and dinner bringing together the four visiting experts and IU faculty and students from across the campus. The four guests and 21JPSI Director Adam Liff, who organized the workshop, also discussed their research and opportunities for collaboration over a group breakfast.
A brief description of each of the four dedicated workshop sessions is below:
At the “Japan and the World” workshop’s first session, Dr. Mary Alice Haddad (Wesleyan University) presented her latest work on the rise of sub-national diplomacy in Japan and its implications for 21st century foreign policy. Dr. Haddad is Professor of Government, East Asian Studies, and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan, and her research focuses predominantly on environmental and urban diplomacy in East Asia. IU Professor Jessica O’Reilly, a cultural anthropologist from the Hamilton Lugar School’s International Studies department, served as the discussant on Dr. Haddad’s paper.
A the workshop’s second session, Dr. Kristin Vekasi (University of Maine) presented a co-authored manuscript examining political cooperation and conflict in Japan’s free trade agreements, with a particular focus on dispute settlement mechanisms. Dr. Vekasi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and School of Policy and International Affairs at the University of Maine. IU Professor Jason Wu, an expert on Chinese politics and public opinion from IU’s Political Science department, served as the discussant on Dr. Vekasi’s paper.
At the workshop’s penultimate session, Dr. Kathryn Ibata-Arens (DePaul University) introduced her latest book project, which is focused on Japan’s inclusive innovation diplomacy as it relates to the development of new pharmaceuticals. Dr. Ibata-Arens, who researches innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia, is Vincent de Paul Professor at DePaul University. IU Professor Jessica Steinberg, a political scientist from the Hamilton Lugar School’s International Studies department, served as the discussant on Dr. Ibata-Arens’ manuscript.
The workshop closed with a session dedicated to Dr. Hiroki Takeuchi’s (Southern Methodist University) working paper on lessons for China and other countries from Japan’s meteoric rise and successful foreign investment in the United States in the 1980’s. At SMU, Dr. Takeuchi is an associate professor of political science and director of the Sun and Star Program on Japan and East Asia. IU Professor and 21JPSI Director Adam Liff, a political scientist from the Hamilton Lugar School’s East Asian Languages and Cultures Department, served as the discussant on Dr. Takeuchi’s paper.
*The 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI) was launched at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies in 2018. Under the leadership of Founding Director and HLS faculty member Adam Liff, 21JPSI aims to invigorate and expand research, teaching, and programming on contemporary Japanese politics, society, and international (esp. U.S.-Japan) relations, and to educate, raise awareness, and debate policy responses to the various political, social, and foreign policy challenges that Japan faces in this extremely dynamic era of 21st-century change. Supported by a generous $900,000 grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, in its first five years 21JPSI has enabled a new tenure-track faculty search; new courses on contemporary Japan; a speaker series on Japanese Politics and Society; biennial conferences on U.S.-Japan relations; graduate research fellowships, and faculty travel grants. For more information, please see https://jpsi.indiana.edu/ or write to firstname.lastname@example.org