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Imagining Globality: Japan & China’s approach to liberal internationalism

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Imagining Globality: a comparative analysis of the significance of “liberal internationalism” as a political concept in modern Japan & China

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UCD Centre for Japanese Studies and the Irish Institute of Japanese Studies with UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work & Social Justice

Face-to-Face and Online Seminar

F2F: Theatre C004, UCD Health Sciences Building, Belfield Campus, Dublin 4

Online: on Zoom [link will be shared with all registared on Eventbrite]

Speaker: Prof. Kiri Paramore (Professor of Asian Studies, University College Cork)

Abstract: In this talk, Kiri Paramore, Professor of Asian Studies at UCC, will comparatively analyse the significance of “liberal internationalism” as a political concept in modern Japan and China.

For most nations, and certainly for postcolonial states, comparison forms an important basis of political thought. In Japan and China, comparative frameworks influence not only approaches to individual political issues and decisions, but also the structure of political thought itself. Comparison is also central to how other countries, particularly so-called “Western” countries, imagine the politics of Japan and China. Moreover, Western countries regularly imagine themselves in relation to “the East”, “Asia” and sometimes simply “China”, and imagine these places themselves similarly through comparisons to an imagined norm called “the West” and sometimes “the international community” – the imagination of which is reliant on comparison with an image of Asia. In other words, comparison forms the basis of a symbiotic creation of national, civilizational and global identities.

This talk takes liberalism, as the basis ideology of the current international order, as an exemplary focus of comparison. Beginning with a reflection on the divergent way WWII and the first Cold War’s history are perceived between China and Japan, the talk moves onto consider the impact of this on images of internationalism and liberalism over the past 70 years. Contrasting these divergences, and the current international tensions they feed, with the current convergences in ideas of culture and nation apparent both in China and Japan as well as many other countries around the world, the talk concludes by reflecting upon the continued influence and impact of liberal internationalism on politics today.

Biography: Kiri Paramore is Professor of Asian Studies in the National University of Ireland, University College Cork. His last book, Japanese Confucianism: A Cultural History (Cambridge University Press, 2016), was a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award winner. Other books include Ideology and Christianity in Japan (Routledge, 2009), and Religion and Orientalism in Asian Studies (Bloomsbury, 2016). His articles have appeared in Modern Intellectual History, the Journal of Asian Studies, the Journal of Early Modern History, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the Journal of Japanese Studies, and the Proceedings of the British Academy, etc. He currently serves as chief editor of the Cambridge History of Confucianism, and as one of the authors of the new Cambridge History of Japan.

Paramore was born and grew up in Sydney and studied Asian Studies and Asian History at the Australian National University, Canberra (B.A.S. (1997) Hons. (1999)). While completing his studies he worked for the Australian Department of Defence, and after graduation the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Under the auspices of a Japanese Ministry of Education and Science research scholarship he completed two postgraduate degrees in intellectual history at the University of Tokyo (M.A. 2003, Ph.D. 2006). Between 2007 and 2019 he taught history and Asian Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and a number of institutes and universities in Japan.

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Organiser UCD Japan

Organiser of Imagining Globality: Japan & China’s approach to liberal internationalism

UCD Japan supports a wide range of Japan-related activities (including academic, artistic and cultural) in University College Dublin, in Ireland and beyond working closely with partners in Japan, Ireland and internationally.

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